Battle to save pony stuck neck-high in Wellingborough flood water

It took more than two hours to free the young animal and reunite him with his mother

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:08 am
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 11:52 am

RSPCA officers and fire crews joined forces to rescue a pony stuck neck-high in muddy flood water.

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 (January 31).

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The rescued horse

Michelle said: “The poor pony was so far from any roads or access so it’s incredibly lucky that someone spotted him.

"When we arrived we had to walk for 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.

Firefighters rescuing the pony

After two hours of trying to get to the pony, his rescuers were finally able to assess the best way to free him.

Michelle said: “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.

The dramatic rescue

“We put some boards down and managed to get the straps around him so we could begin trying to haul him out.”

The team finally freed the little pony who was completely exhausted.

Michelle said: “He was absolutely shattered.

"He wouldn’t stand or move and we were really worried about him.

The stricken pony

"We couldn’t get him to a vet because we couldn’t get a trailer to him 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 said: “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 line on 0300 1234 999.