A HORSE has been pulled from a ditch after getting stuck in the mud.

Firefighters stormed to the rescue of the 10-year-old mare yesterday after she had got her hind legs stuck in the muddy ditch which caused a suction effect.

It happened in Cropredy, near Banbury, at 9.22am yesterday.

Banbury Cake:

The 'extremely dangerous' rescue meant firefighters had to keep the horse docile throughout, whilst placing heavy lifting straps around her and using a 4x4 to pull her free.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service crew manager Morgan Staveley said: "Horses are herd animals so if they get into trouble and get stuck like this, they tend to ‘give up’.

"Once they get a sense of freedom, a docile animal will normally attempt to bolt to safety and away from danger and this can prove hazardous to bystanders.

"This makes close proximity working with such a large and powerful animal extremely dangerous to the rescue teams.

"As the 10 year-old mare was unable to free herself we used the knowledge of the Specialist Crew from Kidlington to formulate a plan to free her."

Banbury Cake:

He added: "The mare was sunk up to her hindquarters, and the suction effect of the mud made it difficult to release her legs."

The crew worked with the owner's daughter who was on site, as well as a vet who kept an eye on the horses condition.

Mr Staveley added: "After resting for a while to get over her ordeal once removed from the mud, the crews, vet and owner were extremely pleased to see her stand up and then walk unaided."