THE distressed owner of a horse which has been left fighting for its life after being rescued from a beck has thanked passers-by and the emergency services for their help.
Three fire crews, including one from Stranton Fire Station and two from Thornaby, spent an hour-and-a-half freeing Willow, the frightened thoroughbred horse, from a stream near Fieldhouse Farm, in Stockton Road, at Greatham Village.
Willow’s owners, Julie Richards, and her 20-year-old daughter, Amy Currell, have thanked those who helped point Amy in the direction of Willow’s whereabouts when she was out looking for the horse, as well as the firefighters for their efforts.
The horse is in the vet’s care and receiving treatment for cuts to her legs, and there are concerns that she could get an infection from beck water on her lungs.
Julie said: “Willow nearly gave up the fight to live during all the chaos.
“If it wasn’t for the people who told my daughter where she was, we might not have found her.
“They must have seen she was struggling, not realising where she was from – that’s when they shouted my daughter.”
Julie, who runs Trot ‘N’ Pop Gymkhanas at Dalton Piercy and is also mum to four-year-old Ashley Richards, said Amy had been out looking for the 19-year-old horse since 5.30am on Bank Holiday Monday, after she went missing.
But after the passers-by told her a horse was in the beck, she raced to the scene.
Julie, from the Brierton area, said: “When I got there we realised there was nothing we could do - it was a seven or eight foot drop.
“I jumped in and my friend was already in the water holding the horse.
“I’m 5ft 7in and it went past my shoulders in places.”
Firefighters were called at 11.15am on Monday.