Brave woman battles for 3 hours to keep her horse from being 'swallowed-up' by mud (video)
A horse was sunk to the neck in the mud of a beach in Avalon, Geelong, Victoria, Australia, while the tide rose, so he faced the possibility of drowning.
Its owner, Nicole Graham, stayed with him to keep him calm and with his head up while the rescuers fought for three hours to get him out of the mud in a race against the tide.
Nicole had gone for a walk in the afternoon with her daughter along the coast when Astro, an 18-year-old horse, suddenly sank in the mud.
Before the mother could shout a warning, a young horse her daughter, Paris, was riding in was also partially swallowed by the mud.
Nicole crawled through the mud and helped her daughter and the other horse get out onto firmer ground. After making sure they were safe, she returned with Astro.
Unfortunately, the horse quickly got stuck in the mud and his efforts to get free caused him to sink further. Paris ran to her mother’s car and called for help, while Nicole accompanied the horse.
Nicole bravely clung to Astro's neck, terrified to think that he would not be able to get out before the tide came, so she prayed for the rescuers to arrive before the water reach the horse’s head.
According to The Telegraph, Nicole, who owns more than 10 horses and runs an equine dentistry business, said the joyful ride on a quiet afternoon had turned into a nightmare.
She added: "I've been riding here for 20 years and I never had a drama. I've never seen any signs and I didn't realize it was so muddy. "
"When I saw the dust of the rescue trucks, I felt very relieved. I was starting to feel overwhelmed," she said, according to the Australian media.
UNION OF EFFORTS FOR THE RESCUE
Fire Lieutenant Roger Buckle, who was among a team of assistants, said: "It was like quicksand."
Fire teams worked with a local farmer, who provided a tractor and a veterinary team. The firefighters managed to get Nicole out and used hoses and a winch to help Astro, but none of these teams succeeded at first.
THE RESCUE TEAM FOUGHT FOR A LONG TIME TO FREE ASTRO
After three "terrifying" hours, and with minutes to spare before the water reached Astro, who had been sedated by veterinarian Stacey Sullivan, the rescuers managed to get the one thousand pound exhibition horse out of the mud with the help of the Farmer's tractor.
"It was a race against the tide and fortunately we won," said Lieutenant Buckle, as reported by The Telegraph.
Buckle praised all efforts, including those of Ms. Sullivan, whose work on Astro's sedation made it easier to release him.
Sullivan added that Astro was dehydrated, but he managed to hold on. "Many horses don’t make it, and I think that without the owner, the possibility of surviving would have been much less."
Subsequently, Astro recovered from his ordeal. Her owner said that the next day he only had superficial bruises and a little muscle pain.
Lieutenant Roger Buckle said that the horse could have broken a leg or that Nicole could have been injured in some way, but to be able to go out with only a couple of scratches and bruises is simply a fantastic result.
This reminds us of another great story of a Poland farmer who tried to keep his dying horse awake after it got trapped when it fell into a maintenance pit.
When he gets near the horse, Slodkowski says "Don't sleep, don't sleep," to the poor animal. He knows he has to do something fast.