Slideshow: Firefighters' dramatic two-hour horse rescue

PUBLISHED: 14:23 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 08:32 02 June 2010

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EXCLUSIVE - Captured on camera this is the dramatic moment when reluctant-hero Dorne Arlington stepped into the freezing waters of a drain a Fenland river to rescue a stranded pony. Horse-lover Mrs Arlington, 38, from Outwell

Horse river rescue at 3 holes.
Hero is Dorne Arlington 25

EXCLUSIVE

By ADAM LAZZARI

Captured on camera this is the dramatic moment when reluctant-hero Dorne Arlington stepped into the freezing waters of a drain a Fenland river to rescue a stranded pony.

Horse-lover Mrs Arlington, 38, from Outwell, bravely volunteered to go into the icy-waters of the Middle Level Main Drain at Three Holes to rescue the distraught pony, which had fallen into the water, while grazing on the bank.

Horse river rescue at 3 holes.
Hero is Dorne Arlington 25

Firefighters had tried to coax the black pony out of the water, but to no avail, during the incident on Wednesday.

Miss Arlington, who had seen the commotion, asked if it would be okay if she could go in and help bring the pony to safety.

The drama unfolded at 8.30am, when the fire service received a call from a worried member of the public.

Around 15 firefighters from Outwell and King’s Lynn and a rescue vehicle and specialist water support unit attended the incident, which was in the river off Main Road.

They had tried to secure a harness on the horse, using a dinghy, but were unable to keep up with it as it kept trying to swim away from them.

Miss Arlington, eventually managed to get hold of the pony by bravely entering in to the water with a bucket of food.

Once she got close to the pony she was able to put a rope around its neck and firefighters then managed to attach it to the harness and pull it on to the river bank and back to safety

Miss Arlington, said: “I love horses and know how to handle them so I suggested that I go in and help.

“The firefighters were at first reluctant to let me do it but I saw it was getting very tired and distressed. I really thought it might drown.

“When the owners arrived I asked their permission and they let me go for it.

“I went in with a bucket of garlic charf and it wouldn’t come to me at first.”

But she added: “It took me a bit of time to gain the horse’s trust and let me get close to it. It was getting very cold and so was I.

“The horse was shaken up and very distressed but it’s absolutely fine now.

“I’ve been buzzing ever since and I’m just really proud that I was able to help save a horse’s life.”

The rescue took just over two hours to complete.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The horse was really scared, which made the rescue difficult. Firefighters tried to calm the horse down before carrying out the rescue. Dorne was on hand and under our supervision went into the water to gain the horses trust and put a bridle over its head which enabled the firecrews to attach a harness and pull and coax it up the bank.

“She did fantastically well and we are full of praise for her actions.”

Pictures: BRIAN PURDY

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