Horse wedged against a wall rescued by fire fighters

Fire crews from Dartmouth and Plymouth have rescued a horse that was wedged against a concrete wall in Stoke Fleming. 

Belle being comforted by her owner after falling through a fence and getting wedged against the wall - credit Dartmouth Fire Station

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was called to Pleasent Valley Farm, Stoke Fleming, just after 7.30am this morning, Wednesday, 24 February, after a horse fell through a fence and was wedged upside down between a concrete wall and a bank. 

While the owner was keeping the horse, Belle, calm, the fire crews called in the USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) team who have heavy lifting equipment. The area was made safe for crews to work as "large animals can do things in a split second which may injure somebody" and Belle was the sedated by a vet. 

Fire crews working hard to get Belle out safely - credit Dartmouth Fire Station


A spokesperson for DSFRS said: "Because of the stress and the time it would take to get the telehandler to the incident we decided to use muscle power and pull the horse safely up onto its back legs in a sitting position whist put hay bales behind it's back at the same time to prop her up. 

"Gradually she she went forward onto her feet and was allowed to try and stand for herself. I'm glad to say that Belle was fine once she was out of sedation and is very happy to be back galloping around the paddock."

Gradually she she went forward onto her feet and was allowed to try and stand for herself. I'm glad to say that Belle was fine once she was out of sedation and is very happy to be back galloping around the paddock

Belle's owner, Lulu Greenhalgh-Jones, spoke to us on Wednesday evening. She said that Belle was covered in "lumps and bruises" and  was feeling "very sorry for herself" after her ordeal. 

Lulu was alerted to Belle's predicament when a friend who ran past the field spotted her and raised the alarm. Lulu thinks she has been stuck for about an hour when she arrived at around 7.30am. 

Lulu has owned Belle for six years and has never had a situation like this with her before. "She is a wonderful horse", she said, "she's so kind, she taught my two daughters (10- and 7-years-old) to ride."

She was also full of praise for Belle's rescuers. Lulu said that the vet who attended, Steph from Blackdown Equine, was a "credit to the practice and the profession", and said the fire crews were "amazing". 

She added: "Belle is truly amazing pony who tries her heart out in every situation. She is a smashing companion and a much loved part of family as well as being very well known around the village!"

Belle is truly amazing pony who tries her heart out in every situation. She is a smashing companion and a much loved part of family as well as being very well known around the village!

Belle back on her feet again, thanks to fire crews - credit Dartmouth Fire Station

As always, great work by our emergency services - here for everyone in the South Hams, whether with two legs or four. 

We hope Belle has recovered from her ordeal. 

Lulu on Belle and her daughter Frankie on Sky - credit Lulu Greenhalgh-Jones

- Sam Acourt, Editor 

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