Yearling hauled up bank and brought back from ‘brink of death’ by rescuers
A team of animal heroes worked together to haul an exhausted, young pony who had fallen down a bank back to safety and bring him back to life.
Concerned members of the public contacted the RSPCA and London Fire Brigade on Wednesday afternoon (18 December) after spotting a collapsed horse at the bottom of a bank off Norman Road, Belvedere, in London.
RSPCA animal collection officer Lisa Miller raced to the scene expecting the worst. She said: “Sadly we are often called out to collapsed horses and find it’s too late and that they’ve died. It’s so dangerous when horses go down and can’t get back up as they’re internal organs can fail under the weight of their own bodies.
“When I arrived at the scene in Belvedere London Fire Brigade had just arrived and we were quickly able to tell that the pony was in a perilous situation.
“He’d slipped down a muddy bank and was stuck, laying on his side, with his back legs caught around a tree and his front legs in the river. He’d been trying to get back to his feet and was exhausted; he was on the brink of death.”
The team couldn’t launch a rescue mission without sedating the exhausted but terrified pony so called an equine vet to the scene. Four fire brigade support vehicles were at the scene along with two fire engine crews so the team soon set to work.
“Once he was sedated and calmer we were able to get the straps under him and start to winch him back up the bank,” Lisa added.
“By this point it was dark and raining so the poor pony was cold and we had to work quickly but carefully so as not to hurt him. We eventually got him back to the top and got his sopping wet rug off of him.
“The fire brigade left and the vet and I stayed with him as he slowly came around. He was absolutely exhausted and we were worried that he wouldn’t recover from the ordeal but slowly he started to perk up and we eventually managed to heave him back up onto his feet.”
The RSPCA left an abandonment notice at the site and removed the pony – named Frosty – for further veterinary treatment.
Rachel Atherton, from Lingfield Equine Vets, who assisted with the rescue said on Thursday (19 December): “It was touch and go for Frosty overnight but he’s really perked up today and is doing really well.
“He hasn’t stopped eating and is now clean and happy. He is a real trooper.
“There were a few points where I wasn’t sure whether he was going to make it but he’s proved he’s a little fighter. He’s a Christmas miracle!”
Frosty will stay with the vets until he is strong enough to move to an RSPCA centre. If no one comes forward to claim him then he’ll be rehomed by the charity.
This winter, the RSPCA expects to take in more than 10,000 animals in need across England & Wales. To help us deliver vital supplies to thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals left out in the cold this Christmas, visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness and watch your virtual gifts fill up our sleigh.