It was a real night-mare for one horse who recently got itself stuck in the mud. According to reports, New York firefighters were dispatched to a scene where they found the poor horse in a precarious position. At the time, the animal was in mud up to its shoulders.
The horse, also known as Niko, got scared while being ridden around a vineyard and took off crashing through the woods. While running off, he bucked off his rider. After kicking up dust for almost a mile, Niko realized he was in trouble when he got stuck in the mud, fell over, and couldn’t stand up.
After the rider got help, firefighters deployed a drone to locate the horse. Once found, officials realized the only way they could get to him was by utility and all-terrain vehicles.
After an hour of searching the former vineyard, emergency officials located Niko, buried up to his shoulders in mud. He was also one mile deep into the woods.
“This was a really wet swamp with boot-sucking mud,” said rescue team commander Joey Nickischer. “Rescuers were falling over as their feet got stuck and had to rely on each other to pull themselves free.”
The rescue forced crews to build a roadway of plywood sheets between dry ground and the horse. They also dug Niko out of the mud as much as they could.
“We had an excavator on site ready to assist,” said rescue team member Herb Doerr, “but it couldn’t get as close as we’d like because the mud was too deep.”
Horse rescue takes effort from 25 people and lasts over three hours in total
Later, they recruited a local veterinarian who administered anesthesia to calm the horse down. Then, crews wrapped ropes and straps under Niko to help get him loose from the mud.
All in all, it took over 25 people to pull Niko out of the mud, sliding the horse onto an ad hoc sled. Then, they moved the sled over the improvised roadway and onto solid ground. Once there, Niko could finally stand up on his own.
After over three long hours, the creature was successfully removed from the swamp area and walked out with the assistance of veterinary personnel.
Those involved later said the rescue tested their skills, equipment, and experience to get a positive result.
Thankfully, by the end of it, Niko could walk onto a trailer. He was also moved to a veterinary clinic for monitoring.
“As always, tremendous thank you to all our local first responders and volunteers. Your efforts will not go unnoticed and we’re proud of the work you’ve done,” said Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne. “The ingenuity displayed by our Putnam County Technical Rescue Squad is something to be admired and I cannot be more proud of them for their success in their first call along side their counterparts in Westchester.