For three hours, a desperate woman clung to her 17-year-old show horse Astro to keep him from drowning in mud.
Nicole Graham worked hard to keep her horse calm and above the dangerous quagmire mud as the ocean tide approached. Astro, a 900-pound horse, became stuck in the mud during an afternoon ride in Melbourne, Australia. Nicole’s daughter Paris had accompanied her on her ride, and her horse had become stuck as well. Nicole was successful in releasing Paris’ horse, but not the larger horse Astro.
Attempts to free Astro caused him to become even more stuck, so Nicole’s only option was to keep him calm until help arrived.
Paris was able to summon assistance, and Astro was sedated while a harness was attached to him in order for a tractor to pull him out.Nicole, who owns over ten horses, said it took rescuers three hours to pull her horse to safety.
“It was frightening. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling,” Nicole told The Geelong Advertiser, according to the Daily Mail. “I’ve been riding here for 20 years and never had a drama,” she added. I’d never seen any signs and had no idea it was so muddy.”
Fire lieutenant Roger Buckle, who assisted in the horse’s rescue, described the mud as “quicksand.”
Fortunately, Astro only experienced dehydration and minor muscle soreness.
“A lot of horses don’t make it, and I think the chances of survival would have been much lower if the owner hadn’t been there,” said vet Stacey Sullivan.
I’m grateful Nicole was able to keep Astro calm until he could be extracted. I can only imagine how terrified he must have been.