A vet, his parents and a band of volunteers have conducted a two-hour rescue of a horse that was stuck in mud up to its neck, south of Adelaide. Shadow had just moved to its “retirement paddock” at the age of 28 when it fell into a muddy pit full of reeds last night at Myponga, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Country Fire Service (CFS) and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers helped vet James Meyer rescue the horse from its predicament.
Horse ‘bright as a button’ after being rescued from mud pit at Myponga
Dr Meyer said it was “as bright as a button” at its check-up this morning.
Dr Meyer, from the Fleurieu Equine Clinic, was called to the property about 6:00pm and managed to get Shadow out of the mud by 8:30pm.
Even stuck in the mud with reeds twisted around its legs, Shadow was “bright” and trying to eat the grass and reeds around it.
“I knew he still had a bit of spark in him when he was still munching away while his back end was stuck in the mud,” Dr Meyer told ABC Radio Adelaide.
Dr Meyer used a CFS hose to clear the mud around the horse’s legs.
Without releasing the suction around a horse’s legs, there was a chance its body could be rescued from the mud, but not its legs.
“You can do some pretty bad damage if you don’t release the suction around the legs before you pull,” Dr Meyer said.
Dr Meyer, his parents Nick and Julie Meyer and the SES and CFS volunteers used ropes around its back and chest to drag the horse out onto the grass.
“As soon as I let him go he was head down grazing grass, which is always a good sign,” he said.
He said it was the second rescue of a horse he had conducted in recent months.
Owner Wendy Lewis Baida thanked the rescuers.
“My poor horse, just moved to his new retirement paddock, fell in a sinkhole,” she said.
“Thanks to the CFS and the wonderful vet he’s going to be okay.
“He’s in a bit of shock, which is understandable.
“Poor guy, you don’t keep going at 28 to fall in a hole.”
Earlier this year a distressed horse was rescued by two surfers and a local fisherman after swimming about 2 kilometres out to sea, also on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Footage of the rescue at Moana Beach was posted to social media after the horse seemingly swam away from its owners during a routine exercise at the popular beach.
Moana Surf Lifesaving Club president Angela Farrier said she was on the scene during the ordeal and her club had been notified as soon as the horse made a run for it.
“He was heading out to sea and the owner was quite distressed because she couldn’t get him back,” Ms Farrier said.
Members of the surf lifesaving team then leapt into action, with a local fisherman also joining in the rescue brigade.