Horses Needed a Rescue After Unfortunate Shortcut

They found themselves stuck in the mud for more than 7 hours
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2024 2:20 PM CDT
Horses Needed a Rescue After Unfortunate Shortcut
This image shows rescuers working to bring a horse out of the swamp in Lebanon, Connecticut, on Saturday. Two horses stuck deep in the mud for hours were pulled out by more than a dozen rescuers.   (Thomas J. Nanos via AP)

"Horses are known for getting themselves into trouble, they are curious by nature," says the head of a Connecticut horse rescue and rehabilitation center. That characterization certainly applies to Damascus and Beau. The two horses took an unfortunate "shortcut" between a pasture and a barn on a Lebanon farm the center uses on Saturday and ended up trapped to their armpits in mud—and in need of a massive rescue effort, Stirrup Fun Stables Rescue Director Jeanna Prink tells the New York Times.

Prink says staff noticed the horses were missing and started an hourslong search, followed by a couple more hours of trying to get the horses unstuck. They finally called the Lebanon Volunteer Fire Department; fire chief Jay Schall described the scene as a "logistical nightmare" due to the heavily wooded nature of the scene, the waist-deep mud in the area, and the size of the animals. The Durham Animal Response Team, which specializes in pulling large animals from mud, joined them.

The plan was to pull the exhausted horses onto a sledlike sheet of firm plastic and pull them about 100 feet on a hastily constructed bridge to solid ground. About 45 people worked with ropes, saws, and lumber to get a bridge in place and pull out the horses, which took about 30 minutes each. Once the horses arrived on solid ground, they were evaluated by a vet, who found them to be in "mild distress," with one horse stuck for more than seven hours in the mud, reports FOX61. They were warmed with blankets and eventually able to stand. Prink describes them as in good health. (More animal rescue stories.)

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