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Image: Sean Cahill/Boyne Fishermen's Rescue and Recovery Group

Rescue group save pregnant mare stuck in marsh

The horse, who was in foal, had been stuck in the marsh for three hours before being saved by the Boyne Fisherman’s Rescue and Recovery Service.
Apr 17th 2013, 9:14 AM 9,091 22

MEMBERS OF THE Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue and Recovery service are more used to dealing with water rescues, but last night they found themselves faced with a rather unusual situation.

At 11pm, they received an emergency call about a horse that was in distress and stuck in marsh ground and mud beside a stream at Newtown, Drogheda.

A farmer from neighbouring land had noticed the horse in difficulty, and the rescue group’s PRO Sean Cahill told that the farmer suspected the mare, who is in foal, had looked for a spot to give birth in woodland.

Unfortunately, she got stuck in the marshy land and couldn’t get out, putting herself and the unborn foal in danger.


After being alerted to the case, the rescue team dispatched a land crew to the scene. When they arrived, they discovered the horse had been stuck for nearly three hours and was shivering with shock and cold.

They tried to keep the mare calm as they started to dig round her and attempt to free her from the mud.

Forty minutes later, the crew carefully attached two slings to the mare so as not to cause any injury to her or the unborn foal. Slowly but surely, the rescue team were able to tow the distressed mare on to dry land and get her back on her feet.

She was still a little shaky from her ordeal, said Cahill, but was led away to stables, washed down, dried off and housed for the night.

The team, who were helped by locals during the 90-minute-long rescue, are due to check on the condition of the horse this morning to see how she fared overnight.

This was most definitely an unusual case – “we get swans and things like that”, said Cahill of the usual out-of-the-box rescues – and probably a little dangerous for the rescue team.

However, they were able to focus on the job at hand and saved the distressed horse from a frightening situation, as you can see from the photos below.

Read: Two climbers rescued from snow gully in Derry>

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Aoife Barry


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