A group of farmers and firefighters recently raced to save a horse that fell through an icy creek near the town of Rimbey in Central Alberta, Canada.
Cody Scott, a 20-year-old man who filmed part of the dramatic rescue on his GoPro, told ABC News today that the horse belonged to a neighbor, who had approached him this past Monday and asked for help locating his missing horse.
After searching for about 10 minutes, Scott said he and another neighbor stumbled upon the 1,500-pound Clydesdale mare "submerged under bone-chilling water." It appeared that the horse had fallen through a creek that had iced over.
Scott said he then got together a small group of neighbors, and they spent "about two to three hours" trying to pull the horse out of the water.
"We were fighting against time," he said. "I could tell she was incredibly weak due to her breathing, and, at one point, it almost seemed like she was giving up."
Scott said the group first tried to use a rope and sled to pull the horse out, but "it just didn't budge." He then ran home to call the local county fire department before returning and attempting to "winch the horse out" with his snowmobile, he said.
Unfortunately, the snowmobile's belt broke due to the weight of the horse, and the group was left with no choice but to try to use the rope again.
"By this time, we had been out there for about an hour-and-a-half to two hours," Scott said. "After pulling for a bit again, I noticed one of its feet was able to get onto some muskeg just beneath the water's surface."
Scott said he then put his hands in the "freezing cold" water, tied a rope around that leg and pulled it out on top of the ice.
"That gave her enough leverage to put her second front foot on top of the ice, too," he said. "Soon, she was able to get her whole upper body above the water, and then the fire department showed up, and we all were able to pull her out successfully."
After the horse "was able to catch her breath and get back up on her feet," its owners took her to a nearby veterinary clinic, according to Ponoka County Fire Services West District Chief John Weisgerber.
The horse "was pretty cold and certainly very tired," but she is believed to be OK, Weisgerber said. He added that it had been around minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit outside during the rescue.
Scott told ABC News he was amazed that the horse survived the ordeal, and he wanted to thank everyone who helped out.
"It was truly a good team effort," he said.
- Nature & Environment