Vets remove fence post from spooked Suffolk pony
A pony ended up with a 2ft 3in (70cm) fence post wedged inside its body after being spooked by a gust of wind.
Penny was being put through her paces at Poplar Park Equestrian Centre in Suffolk when she bolted and tried to jump over a fence.
The large post entered her chest area and ended up alongside the ribcage, narrowly missing vital organs.
Vets said it was a first for them, but they safely removed the piece of wood and Penny is now back home.
The pony threw her 14-year-old rider Jasmine Price, who was not injured, before making off across a field at the park near Woodbridge shortly before Christmas.
Jasmine's mother initially thought the pony was fine, but noticed "blood trickling down her back legs" and then saw a "huge" wound on her chest.
The wound swelled rapidly as they waited for a vet to arrive.
The unusual, almost square swelling led them to wonder whether part of the fence had entered the pony's body and she was referred immediately to Newmarket Equine Hospital where consultant surgeon Matt Smith carried out an emergency operation.
Mr Smith said: "I have seen a wide range of traumatic injuries and removed a multitude of foreign bodies, but this was a first.
"When I started to extract it via the chest wound, it just kept coming. It is quite remarkable that it didn't damage any vital structures, and avoided penetrating the thoracic cavity."
Three weeks later Penny was able to return home to her family and although vets say she "still has a long way to go", they are optimistic the pony will make a full recovery.