Horse stuck in ditch rescued by fire crew near Porthtowan

By Amy Gladwell
BBC News

Published
image copyrightAllanah Priestland-Hearn
image captionBertie the horse had to be rescued from a ditch

A horse has been rescued by "heroic" firefighters after the noise from a group of mopeds caused him to fall into a ditch.

Bertie's owner Allanah Priestland-Hearn was riding on a path alongside a road near Porthtowan, Cornwall when several "loud" bikes sped past.

The horse was spooked and fell about 5ft (1.5m) into a ditch on Wednesday.

Miss Priestland-Hearn, 23, described the riders as "ignorant" and "disrespectful".

image copyrightAllanah Priestland-Hearn
image captionBertie's owner said the incident was "really scary"

"I was with my mum on her horse and we thought we'd go for a nice relaxed evening ride," she said.

"We heard some bikes up behind us - they were just coming so fast and my mum's horse started freaking out, they were loud and rattly sounding... there were about ten."

"Bertie fell down the drop below the road and on a slope, it was horrible," she said.

image copyrightAllanah Priestland-Hearn
image captionAllanah Priestland-Hearn said she feared her "best friend" Bertie would become so distraught stuck in the ditch that he would die

Ms Priestland-Hearn said she managed to get off the horse and scramble out through the brambles back on to the path, where she called the fire brigade.

"He was breathing so heavily, he was sweating and pooing - they can stress and get colic and die basically, I was in a panic," she said.

When the firefighters arrived they cut the horse out unharmed, she explained.

Andy Smith, watch manager at Tolvaddon Community Fire Station, said four firefighters attended just before 19:00 BST.

"In its panic the horse had slipped down quite a steep bank - probably about 5ft (1.5m) and managed to tangle itself around some gorse and brambles," he said.

He explained they used a saw to cut branches away, then stopped traffic on the road and were able to lead the horse out.

image copyrightAllanah Priestland-Hearn
image captionBertie returned to his "calm, greedy, cheeky self" after the ordeal

"It was really heroic, I can't thank them enough, it was really amazing - they were just so sweet," Miss Priestland-Hearn said.

"I don't know what goes on in people's mind when they speed past a horse... they are big heavy flight animals," she said.

"We were wearing high-vis - there is no way they wouldn't have seen us.

"It was quite disrespectful... I think that some people are just quite ignorant."

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