A team of 35 firefighters worked together to get seven of the ten horses safely to shore.
The group of 10 rodeo broncs fell through the thin ice of a frozen dugout on their rural property in Grande Prairie, Alberta. They plunged into the freezing water and struggled to hold their heads above the intermixed patches of ice and water.
The County of Grande Prairie's fire chief, Trevor Grant, was alerted of the incident, and he gathered a team in an attempt to rescue the horses. Many of the firefighters were trained in large animal rescue, and they concocted a plan to bring the horses safely to shore. Armed with chainsaws and wearing safety tethers connected to the shore, firefighters ventured onto the ice. Their plan was to cut into the ice and make a path for the horses to follow toward safety.
Grant told Chat News Today:
"It was pretty overwhelming having that sheer number of horses in need. Bystanders were pretty excited, but the crews were able to get control of the situation and develop a plan."
It took nearly two hours and 35 firefighters to cut the ice and guide the horses to shore. Some of the horses were able to pull themselves out of the water, but others were too exhausted to move. Specialized rigging was used to lift those horses over the shoreline.
As rodeo broncs, Grant reported the horses weren't as calm as regular horses would have been. But in their hour of need, they trusted the rescuers to have their best interests in mind.
One horse died from injuries attained during the fall, and two others were lost to exhaustion. Seven of the 10 animals survived and a local veterinarian reports they're all doing well and should make full recoveries.
What do you think of the rescue? Let us know in the comments.
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