Local News

Horse rescued from Cumberland County creek

Posted December 25, 2018 9:05 a.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2018 1:45 p.m. EST

Horse rescued from Cumberland County creek. Shared with permission from 4Hooves.

— A couple performed a Christmas Eve miracle on Monday when they rescued a horse that was stuck in a chilly creek for over an hour.

Tori and Justin McLeod own and operate 4Hooves Large Animal Services in Spring Lake. Together, the husband and wife team works to rescue equine and livestock, provide end-of-life services to horses, perform barn and trailer fire prevention and safety consultations, assist with animal cruelty investigations and more.

The animal lovers were put to work on Christmas Eve when a horse got stuck in a cold creek. Justin McLeod, who performed the rescue, said a rider and horse were trying to cross the creek during a trail ride. When the horse reached shoulder-level in the water, it got stuck in the mud and couldn't move.

It took 30 to 45 minutes to perform the rescue, according to McLeod.

In total, the horse was in the water for about two hours.

McLeod said veterinarians and even two EMS trucks arrived at the scene to check the horse for hypothermia.

The rescuers managed to get straps under the horse, and a group of people pulled the horse from the mud. A tractor pulled the horse the rest of the way up an embankment along the river.

After a few minutes out of the water and mud, the horse was able to scramble to its feet. It was trailored to the owner's farm, placed in a stall and wrapped in a blanket.

The McLeod's went to check on the horse after packing up their gear and found her munching on hay and a mash of alfalfa cubes. The horse is expected to make a full recovery.