Monday 15 July 2019

Drowning horse’s dramatic rescue from 12ft gripe

Ingenious rescue operation sees horse saved

1. Ross, the horse, struggling to keep his head above water in Marshmeadows, just outside New Ross.
1. Ross, the horse, struggling to keep his head above water in Marshmeadows, just outside New Ross.
2. Men placing a rack strap from a golf buggy around Ross’s legs to be hoisted out of the water using a teleporter
3. Ross having gone under the water. He went under three times during the three-hour rescue operation
4. Success: Ross being hoisted out of the marshy water using a teleporter in Marshmeadows

David Looby

More than ten people were involved in the dramatic rescue of a horse in Marshmeadows.

The horse - a male two-year-old - was spotted in 12ft of water in a gripe in Marshmeadows at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. A mare was roaming around nearby, but not in any immediate danger. Gardaí were notified and contacted the WSPCA. Animal inspector Petrina Busher said: 'I managed to get a rope around his neck. I had to lasso it, but couldn't get to the head. I managed to keep his head out of the water.'

With the help of a man who arrived on the scene who managed to get a rope under the horse's hind legs, they kept it from drowning, but had no means of lifting the animal from the water.

'We needed a teleporter as it was gone very tired and was shaking all over. It went under two or three times. We nearly lost him.'

While Petrina and local workers tried to rescue the horse, they were interrupted by some local residents.

'There was trouble so we had to call the guards who came back. It really was a joint task-force effort to rescue Ross, which is the name we gave him. By the end there were 12 of us trying to lead him out.'

Eventually, by 11 a.m. Ross was pulled from the gripe. 'Physically he was in good condition but was very distressed. Trying to get him out was such a dangerous operation as we couldn't get to his front legs. There was too much muck and too many reeds and there was a danger of him choking. It was only pure luck that one of the men managed to get a rack strap from a golf buggy under his back legs to help lift him out. It was fairly traumatic.'

The two horses were removed to a stables. As they were not micro-chipped and were no private property, the WSPCA seized them and have had Ross and the female horse seen by a vet before they are re-homed.

Petrina thanked everyone involved in the rescue including Eoin Kavanagh, the crew from O'Gorman Engineering, Tom Walsh, Niall Corkery and the gardai.

New Ross Standard