Thornbury>> An 1,800-pound Clydesdale gelding horse became stuck in mud and fell to its side at Thornbury Farm Stables Wednesday.
Penny Parker, farm comanager, said Cyrus went missing from the field early Wednesday morning. Parker notified police to be on the lookout for the animal, which was owned by a person in Virginia.
At about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Parker found the horse in a low lying muddy area in the large pasture. She believed it had been spooked by another horse stabled at the farm.
Crews from West Chester Fire Department and the Chester County Rescue Task Force, including Fame, Longwood, Wagontown and Lionville fire companies, responded as well as veterinarians from Unionville Equine Associates.
CHECK OUT MORE PHOTOS HERE. Dave Manning, co-manager at Thornbury Farms, said they purchased the 18-year-old horse from New Holland auctions a month ago. After a month in quarantine, Cyrus was to be sent to its owners in Virginia this weekend.
“He’s an older guy, a little underweight,” Manning said. “The owners purchased him. Otherwise, he would go to slaughter.”
As television helicopters flew overhead, two horses charged rescuers as they worked to free Cyrus. A second animal nearly became stuck as stable crews worked to get the other horses away.
Vets sedated Cyrus as rescue crews brought in wood, sheets and boards to work on as they slowly maneuvered a harness under that animal. They used compressed air to break the mud grip on the animal as they turned come-alongs, (chained supported hand cranks) to pull the horse out of the mud.
After crews had the animal out of the mud, a crane from Bob’s Crane Services was brought in to lift the horse away to a safe area. Firefighters were aided by crews from the Chester County Animal Response Team.
“We’re pulling for him,” said Suzie Spackman, who watched as crews worked for hours to free the animal. “It’s not good for a horse to be down like that.”
As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, local fire crews reported that the horse was up and walking around.