Fire crews save horse wedged tight in muddy ditch

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Firefighters come to the aid of a horse stuck fast in a ditch.
Firefighters come to the aid of a horse stuck fast in a ditch.

A horse that ended up wedged in a mud-filled ditch has been rescued by British firefighters.

The Cambridgeshire Fire & Rescue Service, which carried out Tuesday’s rescue, urged animal owners to secure grazing areas and fence off ditches and open water sources.

Crews from Cambridge and Soham, together with a rescue vehicle from Cambridge, were called out at 7.25am after reports of a horse trapped in a mud-filled ditch off Prickwillow Rd, Isleham.

The grey horse was found stuck in a deep ditch on the edge of its field.

A vet was called to sedate the horse and crews, including specially trained animal rescue personnel, used strops to begin releasing the horse from the mud.

Owing to the tight access into and out of the ditch, a local farmer with heavy machinery assisted firefighters in using “drag techniques” to fully rescue the horse, which was left in the care of a vet.

The horse was released by 9.40am and crews returned to their stations by 11am.

Animal rescue specialist Russell Metcalfe said the incident was a timely reminder for not just horse owners, but all animal owners, to ensure the area where their animals grazed were free from hazards.

“In hot weather, animals will often look for shady places or spots where they can cool down, like water-filled ditches, dykes and ponds.

“We’re urging farmers, horse owners and other pet-owners to make sure ditches and places of open water are effectively fenced off to avoid any animals getting stuck.

“Seeing your animal in distress can be extremely traumatic for owners, so please take steps to minimise the risk of this happening to you.

“This was a particularly difficult rescue because the horse was extremely wedged in, but luckily crews worked very hard to apply all their training and get the horse out safely and calmly.”


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