RSPCA officers and fire crews launched a rescue mission to save a pony stuck neck-high in muddy flood water in Northamptonshire.
The young piebald cob was stuck fast in the muddy banks of the water – in fields off Irthlingborough Road, Wellingborough – with only his back, neck and head visible.
RSPCA inspectors Michelle Hare and Susan Haywood went to help the stricken pony on Friday evening (31 January). She said: “The poor pony was so far from any roads across so it’s incredibly lucky that someone spotted him. When he arrived, we had to walk 25-minutes across the field before we found him.
“There was no access at all so Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service had to come into the field from a different side and it took them a further 20 minutes to find us in the dark.”
The pony – thought to be a youngster – was submerged in the muddy banks surrounding a large area of flooding. After two hours of trying to get to the pony, his rescuers were finally able to assess the best way to free him.
Michelle added: “We have no idea how long the poor pony was stuck neck-high in the muddy water. He was in such a remote location he could have been like that for hours – or even days. He was very lucky to have been spotted. We put some boards down and managed to get the straps around him so we could begin trying to haul him out.”
The team eventually managed to free the little pony who was completely exhausted by the ordeal.
“He was absolutely shattered. He wouldn’t stand or move, and we were really worried about him. We couldn’t get him to a vet because we couldn’t get a trailer across the waterlogged fields. We stayed with him and finally we heard some whinnying in the distance and a large mare appeared.
“The youngster got straight to his feet, rushed over to her and started feeding. It was so lovely to see. With some warm milk in his tummy and his mum by his side. I’m sure he’ll be okay.”
Michelle is now working to speak to the horses’ owner to ensure the safety of the pony in the future.
She added: “The fields here are vast and run underneath a viaduct and between a lake and a river. When it rains heavily, they do get waterlogged but because the fields are so big the horses can always find dry standing. It seems in this case it was an unfortunate set of circumstances that the young pony strayed too far into the flooding and got himself stuck.”
Anyone who sees an animal in need of help or who has welfare concerns for any animal should contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency helpline on 0300 1234 999.