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Mum, I got you out a hole there.

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

A one-week-old horse was reunited with its mother yesterday after leading rescuers to the pit where she was trapped.

The young foal was spotted crying in a field at The Avenue, Harelaw, County Durham, and led passers-by to an 8ft-deep slurry pit where its mother had become trapped.

The pit had been covered with wooden planks and the unsuspecting horse, a chestnut-coloured Trotter named Rosie, had fallen through at about 8.30am ( suffering cuts and bruises to her legs.

Fire crews called to the scene decided it would be dangerous to send men into the pit with the distressed horse, but borrowed a JCB from a nearby sawmill to demolish the wall and free Rosie.

After digging into the pit, firefighters were able to guide Rosie to safety where she was reunited with her foal, which had been anxiously watching the dramatic, hour-long rescue.

A veterinary surgeon quickly arrived to check Rosie over, and it was discovered she had not suffered any serious injuries.

Harelaw Sawmill owner Bob Cromar said: "It was a touching scene when the mother was reunited with its foal.

"The foal was standing next to the pit throughout crying for its mother.

"It was only a week old and didn't understand what was happening.

"I'm just glad the horse wasn't badly hurt as it could have easily broken its legs."

Mr Cromar said the horses were owned by Derek Thompson, who keeps them in the field at a friend's farm.

Durham Fire district manager Ian Dockerty [correct] said: "When we initially received the call we believed there was a woman trapped down the pit, so it was quite a surprise when we found the horse.

"The cesspit where the horse had fallen was partly filled with mud and filthy water and we wanted to get her out of there as quickly as possible as the animal was becoming extremely distressed.

"After assessing the situation we came up with the plan of using a JCB to dig through the wall of the pit, and ended up creating a ramp out of the mud so she was able to climb out herself.

"We would like to thank Harelaw Sawmill for all its help, especially as they filled the pit in afterwards to prevent this happening again."

Mr Thompson was not available for comment last night.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2006
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