Firefighters help save horse stranded during Storm Dennis

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Firefighters helped save the life of a horse who had fallen and become stranded during Storm Dennis.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews from Dalkeith and Sighthill responded to the incident within a field near Gorebridge, Midlothian.

The horse, named Ace, had been blown over by a strong gust of wind and was unable to get back to his feet due to extremely wet ground conditions.

Ace suffers from radial nerve damage following a previous accident and was unable to regain his footing without assistance.

Battling wet and miserable conditions, fire crews and volunteers worked with a  local farmer and his forklift to gently move the animal to safety and harder ground.

Following a challenging two hour operation, Ace was able to get to his feet and is now back to enjoying life.

Watch Commander (WC) Gordon Aitchison was involved in the rescue.

Reflecting on the moment Ace regained his footing, WC Aitchison said: “The vet had already informed us that Ace had to get back to his feet by himself because if we used mechanical lifting equipment there was a chance he would fall again.

“We tried to use strops, but Ace kept slipping.

“The lady who called us, Charlotte, then got in touch with her neighbour, a farmer who came with a forklift.

“We decided to use the strops, forklift and a recovery sheet to try and gently move Ace to the paddock.”

WC Aitchison continued: “Moving Ace from the wet field to the paddock and harder ground was really the final chance we had.

“But thankfully everything worked out fine.

“When Ace did get back to his feet it was great to see.

“Charlotte and everyone involved were over the moon and it was hugs all round.”

Charlotte Sleigh helps care for Ace.

According to Charlotte, without the help of firefighters , her neighbour and friends, Ace would likely have lost his life.

Praising the work of emergency responders, Charlotte said: “If it wasn’t for the firefighters and my neighbour (Grant), Ace would have been put down – the vet said as much.

“The firefighters were lovely and were determined to do everything they could to see Ace back on his feet.

“We weren’t sure what to do initially, but having the recovery sheet and Grant’s forklift really helped.

“My friends, George and Allan, who work at a local garage, also rushed here to assist and were a great help.

“It was a positive outcome and it was lovely to see how much the firefighters and everyone involved cared.”

Ace is now fully recovered and back to enjoying life.

Charlotte revealed: “Ace must have about 10 lives, so I knew he would pull through and get back on his feet after we had moved him.

“He’s a big character and just wants to play.

“We’re all very thankful and indebted to those who helped.”


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