The RSPCA is again warning against the dangerous practice of tethering horses after one of the charity’s inspectors carried out a heroic rescue of a pony which was dangling by his neck off a cliff in Suffolk.
RSPCA Inspector Nicky Thorne was called out last night (1 March) to the incident at Pontins Pakefield Holiday Park in Lowestoft. She walked along the beach with her torch, trying to locate the horse and then, shining her torch upwards, she saw the young gypsy cob dangling from his neck over the cliff.
Thinking the horse was already dead, Nicky desperately scrambled up the cliff and called Suffolk Fire and Rescue for help. As she reached the horse she realised he was still breathing and cut him loose from his tether with her pocket knife. Nicky then sat with the horse, wrapping him in her coats until the fire service arrived.
The horse was unconscious and the fire service gave him oxygen and took turns sitting and holding his head, wrapping him in covers and tarpaulins to keep him warm.
Nicky, pictured here with the horse, said: “By this point, I was shaking and in shock – all I could think about was the horse and I didn’t want to leave him. The fire service were absolutely excellent and really cared, I can’t thank them enough.”
The coastguard was also called along with vet Nic de Brauwere from Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk. Nic got the horse onto a drip on the beach and he was loaded into a horse box.
Nicky said: “Nic was fantastic and spent the hour-long journey to Redwings in the horse box with the horse, administering all the emergency care he could and ringing round for advice on the specific injuries. Another Redwings vet also came out to help despite it being almost midnight.”
Upon arrival at Redwings, the trailer was lowered and they started to unload the horse. Tragically, the horse died just as they were trying to unload him. His windpipe had collapsed, leaving him unable to breathe.
Nicky added: “I was so upset, I kept telling the horse he would be the most famous and looked after horse in Suffolk if he pulled through and then to lose him after six hours of trying to save him was awful. I am so grateful to the fire service, to the coastguard and to Redwings – everyone went above and beyond to try to save this horse’s life.
“The RSPCA is against tethering and this shows just how dangerous it is.
“I called the horse Frank after Frank Sinatra as he had blue eyes and I will remember him for a long time.”
To help the RSPCA carry out more rescues like this, please text HELP to 78866 now to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
Notes to editors