Blyth neighbours band together to save horse in distress - March 7, 2019
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
A group of Blyth neighbours came together last week and pulled off a daring rescue of a horse that, if they hadn’t acted as quickly as they did, could have not had a happy ending.
Graham Jackson, who owns a small agricultural property at the east end of Blyth, was out running errands late last month, picking up a load of firewood for a friend. They returned mid-afternoon on Feb. 22 to Jackson’s King Street home and went into the field only to see one of Jackson’s horses had fallen in the pond on his property. Most of the horse’s body was submerged with only its head and some of its neck above water.
Jackson was immediately concerned. Aside from the clear trauma his horse, Red, found herself in, he knew there is quicksand at the bottom of the pond (for years, builders took clay from the pond to make bricks for homes in the village) and that he wouldn’t have much time to rescue her.
Jackson and his friends, Roy Beuermann and Lorne Reis, tried to lift the horse out of the pond on their own, but were unsuccessful. Jackson then made his way down King Street looking for help from his neighbours.
A few houses down from his, Colleen Carter was home and came to his aid. She provided a four-wheeler to help the rescue effort, but she and Jackson recruited fellow King Street resident Nathan Shannon to help drive it.
The group placed ropes on the horse and then attempted to pull her out of the pond with the four-wheeler, but she was so heavy that the four-wheeler couldn’t gain sufficient traction.
With the help of Steve Switzer and some others, they were able to anchor the four-wheeler and eventually pull Red out of the pond.
Once out of the pond, they immediately began treating Red with warm buckets of water to bring up her body temperature. They then covered her in horse blankets to keep her warm.
Luckily, Jackson had called local veterinarian, Dr. Lee Siertsema for another horse, so when he attended with local co-op student Emily Croft, the two were immediately put to work.
They helped in the horse’s recovery, administering a shot to help the horse calm down.
In the days since the incident, Red has fully recovered, with no injuries to show for her time in the cold water. Jackson said that all of those who were involved in the rescue have followed up in the days since.
He said it really is amazing to live in a community like Blyth and especially a street like King Street, knowing that any neighbour who was home would be willing to help him and his horses in an emergency.