June 4, 2007

Lucky with firefighter Jane Denman (who has taken a lead on the project), leading firefighter Mike Carter and station officer Simon Comley.
A life-size rubber horse named Lucky, who costs more than the real thing, has been bought by Welsh firefighters to help in their animal-rescue training programme.

Lucky cost about NZ$12,500 and stands more than 1.5m at the wither. He weighs in at 450kg.

The South Wales Fire Service, in Britain, is investing about NZ$125,000 into training its large-animal rescue team, pointing out that it answered 129 calls to help animals last year, about a third of them classified as large.

In all, some 132 firefighters will receive the specialist training.

Lucky comes with articulated limbs, a detachable tail, and can wear standard horse tack.

Being rubber, he is not prone rust and can be thrown into mud, water - in fact just about any situation from which a horse is likely to need rescue.