Glasgow & West Scotland

'What a feeling' as Flash Dance the horse saved from mud

Firefighters save Flash Dance Image copyright Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Firefighters and local farmers teamed up to save Flash Dance from the mud

A horse which became stuck in a ditch of freezing mud has been saved after firefighters came to the rescue with the help of a local farming community.

The female horse, named Flash Dance, became trapped at Flattmoss Farm, near East Kilbride, on Tuesday afternoon.

After initial efforts to free her failed, there were fears that the 440kg (69st) animal may have to be put down.

She was freed after a local farmer used a JCB digger to scoop away mud which allowed fire crews to haul her clear.

'Time-critical'

Eddie Kelly, manager at East Kilbride fire station, said: "This was a challenging and time-critical operation.

"Flash Dance was stuck in deep mud, on a slope, and she was tired, exhausted and very cold.

"We were able to use our specialist rescue skills and equipment to find a solution and, by working with the local farming community, were able to free Flash Dance and reunite her with her owner. The assistance given to us was invaluable."

Image copyright Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
Image caption Kath Mulholland with Flash Dance

Firefighters were called to the farm, in South Lanarkshire, at about 16:00 on Tuesday, after Flash Dance slipped and fell into the ditch while crossing a small bridge.

Despite the efforts of owner Kath Mulholland and livery owner John McIntyre and his family, the animal could not be freed and became cold and exhausted.

When firefighters arrived they used ropes and an inflatable air bag to try and raise the horse to her feet but she kept sinking into the soft ground.

A local farmer was then enlisted and he used his JCB digger to scoop away six feet of mud.

This allowed firefighters to get underneath the animal, secure ropes around her body and hoist her clear.

The animal was said to be "tired, cold and dirty but otherwise uninjured".

Ms Mulholland, 58, said: "The firefighters would not give up. They were fantastic. I just want to thank them, John and his family, the farmer and everyone else who helped."

Mr McIntyre was involved in the rescue operation along with wife Barbara, 63, daughter Susan, 39, her husband Scott, 42, and daughter Sarah, 29.

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