This was a rescue that emergency workers in Germantown, Ohio, won't soon forget.
A horse that is more than 20 years old and blind fell backward into an 8-foot-deep well pit on containing pressure tanks and pumps on Sunday morning, Germantown Fire Chief Dan Alldred told ABC News.
“When I arrived, all that was sticking out was her head and two front feet,” Alldred said.
The cover of the well pit had been removed, though it wasn’t clear why, he said.
With the help of an equine veterinarian, Dr. John Nenni, the owners, who have not yet been identified, had cinched some straps around the mare to prevent her from slipping further down the 3-foot-square opening and called the authorities, Alldred said.
One of the responding agencies, Reily Township Fire, has special training in large animal rescue, said Lt. Roy Wesselman of the department. He said that as often as eight times a year the agency is called in on incidents such as livestock trailer accidents and animals' getting stuck in unusual spots.
The veterinarian sedated the horse in the well, which allowed rescuers to strap the mare to a plastic board called a rescue glide. They then attached the rescue glide to a piece of heavy machinery known as a trackhoe that they used to lift the roughly 1,000-pound animal up and out of the well, Alldred and Wesselman confirmed.
“We had to use the trackhoe to pick up the horse, along with a bunch of manpower to slide her up and out on a slide board,” Alldred said.
Once she was safely out the hole, Nenni worked to reverse the effects of the sedation. About two and a half hours after authorities arrived on the scene, the mare was up and walking around, Alldred said.
“She’s going to be stiff and sore. She had minor injuries, scrapes, bumps and bruises, some swelling,” Wesselman said. “But she was up eating grass and walking around when we cleared the scene.”
Nenni told ABC News that this was his first time being involved in extracting an animal from a hole. The veterinarian said he relied mostly on what he had learned in a class to know what to do.