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Horse brings home a win after coming back from the brink
A HORSE which its owner feared would have to be put down after becoming stuck in a river up to its neck has defied the odds against recovery to win a race.
Bring It On!, owned by trainer Andy Nicholls, of Scrayingham, near Malton, had been grazing in a friend's field at Menethorpe last September when he ventured into the River Derwent for a drink.
“But he went too far and when he was spotted he only had his head above the water,” said Mr Nicholls.
A dog walker raised the alarm and Malton firefighters and neighbours rallied round and eventually the seven-year-old was brought to safety.
“He was utterly exhausted and couldn't stand up,” said Mr Nicholls.
“I didn't think he was going to make it and I thought we would have to put him down. But our vet, Edmund Collins, was determined he would survive and his care enabled him to make a full recovery.”
“I have kept horses for a long time and there are times when you have to make some tough decisions and I thought this was going to be one of them, but I was glad to be proved wrong. He's a wonderful horse.”
Winning the maiden race in the point-to-point meet at the Badsworth and Bramham Moor Hunt recently was a double triumph for jockey William Milburn.
“He not only helped haul him to safety out of the river, but took him over the winning line at the race meeting,” said Mr Nicholls.
Mr Collins, of Station House Vets at Welburn, near Malton, who helped pull Bring It On! out of the river, guided the firefighters in handling the horse during the rescue operation.
His wife, Anne, said: “The story is encouraging because the British Equine Veterinary Association and Hampshire Fire Brigade have been running courses for equine vets in the most effective methods of horse rescues, and Edmund has been keen to share his knowledge with the Malton brigade.”
As a result of the rescue, Edmund has offered to run practical sessions for local firefighters and one watch has already been trained.
“The courses enable the firefighters to increase their knowledge and awareness of handling sensitive and potentially dangerous animals in stressful rescue situations,” she added.