A horse who had got her legs stuck over the edge of a footbridge in a Derbyshire field was brought to safety in a joint rescue operation between the RSPCA and the local fire service.


A man spotted the horse in trouble on Tuesday morning (27 September) while he was walking his dog in fields off Park Mill Drive, in Alfreton.

RSPCA’s Chief Inspector for Derbyshire, Simon Parker, who attended the rescue with Animal Welfare Officer Andy Sowden, said: “There is a narrow concrete bridge which runs over a stream and the horse must have slipped while walking across it.

“All four of her legs got stuck down the sides of the bridge – three over one side and one on the other side. She was in quite a pickle.

“A local vet came down and gave the horse anaesthetic so that we would be able to rescue her promptly. We were very concerned that she might have broken her legs after the fall. She was thoroughly examined after being carefully freed, and thankfully she had not sustained any serious injuries. Her legs had been left bleeding after the incident and this was treated by the vet at the scene.

“An RSPCA officer remained behind after the vet and fire service had gone to make sure that the horse was OK and we’re pleased to say that she seems to have recovered well from the ordeal. She will be a bit sore for a couple of days but she has had a lucky escape.

“Overall it was a successful rescue – the specialist animal rescue team from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service were absolutely fantastic.”


As the horse was not microchipped, the RSPCA is urging the owner of the horse to come forward so they can be made aware of the incident and also to ensure that the footbridge is blocked off so that it does not happen again. If you are the owner of the horse, please call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)