The horse, which was about eight years old, was in a challenging circumstance. After spending a considerable amount of time happily grazing in the sunny field in Botetourt County, he slipped and fell into a little sinkhole that had formed in the pasture.
He was on his backside and powerless at this point. Fortunately, the emergency workers in Botetourt County were ready for this. It happens around every six to nine months, according to Jason Ferguson, the fire and EMS chief for Botetourt County. The rural county frequently hears sounds from large animals.
The equipment and training required for the task are available to first responders and animal control. Veterinarian-administered sedative helped the horse become calm. A mask was also put over his eyes to assist ease his nervousness.
After being given a unique harness, personnel then hauled the horse out of the sinkhole. It took nearly two hours before someone could save him. He was helped to his feet, given food, and a cool spot to relax under a tent as soon as he regained his calm. He didn’t appear to have any severe injuries.
He was fortunate, Ferguson continued, noting that the horse now appeared to be able to resume “eating hay and enjoying life” following a trying afternoon. “ Thank god we have the skills and resources to deal with it. It’s a team effort, Ferguson added. Along with animal control, county fire, and EMS, volunteer fire companies from Eagle Rock, Fincastle, and Troutville participated in the reaction to the incident.