Heroic firefighters saved the life of an exhausted horse that had stumbled into a muddy, freezing ditch in Scotland this week.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was called to Lanarkshire on Tuesday after the animal slipped while crossing a small bridge and became stuck.
Flash Dance's owner, Kath Mulholland, had tried to get the 440kg animal out of the ditch but was unable to do so. There were concerns that the horse would have to be euthanised.
Firefighters arrived at Flattmoss Farm at about 4pm and tried a number of methods to release the animal from two feet of mud.
They used an inflatable air bag to try and raise the horse to her feet but it kept sinking into the soft ground.
They then enlisted the help of a nearby farmer whose JCB digger was used to scoop away six feet of mud. This allowed firefighters to get underneath the animal and secure ropes around her body and hoist her clear.
She was tired, cold and dirty but otherwise uninjured.
Livery owner John McIntyre was also at the scene with his family and tried to help the distressed animal.
Mulholland, 58, said: “The firefighters would not give up. They were fantastic. I just want to thank them, John and his family, the farmer and everyone else who helped.”
Station Manager Kelly said: “This was a challenging and time-critical operation. Flash Dance was stuck in deep mud, on a slope, and she was tired, exhausted and very cold.
“We were able to use our specialist rescue skills and equipment to find a solution and, by working with the local farming community, were able to free Flash Dance and reunite her with her owner. The assistance given to us was invaluable.”