Feeling well again: Incredible recovery of show jumping horse almost put down after falling backwards into a well
Meet Foxy – a former showjumping horse that had to be winched upside down out of a METRE-WIDE WELL.
The 12-year-old Irish Sport horse had to be pulled out after being submerged in a water-filled well for hours – and her heartbroken owners have forked out more than £20,000 in vets fees to get her fighting fit again.
Due to the precarious situation she was found in, a police marksman was even requested to the livery near Hinckley, Leics.
Despite suffering a fractured back knee from the rescue operation, eight months on the grey mare is back on all four hooves and owner Amy Badge couldn’t be more relieved.
The second year economics student at Bath University only found out about the rescue mission a week later as she had been in the middle of her first year exams.
Amy, 20, said: “I broke down in tears when I found out what had happened to Foxy.
“I’d just finished my last exam when my dad rung.
“I knew something had been wrong as he had called earlier in the week asking me to call once I’d finished.
“It’s unbelievable how far she’s come in eight months.
“She’s still a bit wary around crowds of people but apart from that she’s almost fully recovered.”
Foxy, who Amy has owned for five years and used to keep in county showjumping events with, had been rotated into another paddock when she fell through a thin covering of wood above the well.
Nobody knows how long she was trapped before somebody heard her cries for help and the fire service were called.
Mark Edwards, from Leicestershire Fire & Rescue’s Technical Rescue Team said: “Rescuing Foxy was out of the ordinary.
“We’d never seen anything like this before.
“It’s not a situation that we envisage, so you can’t train for it.
“You’d never think a horse could get into that position in the first place.
“When we got there we could only see her head, neck and front knees – everything else was submerged.”
With help from Warwickshire Fire & Rescue’s Animal Rescue, a harness was secured around the front of her body and she was slowly winched out of the well.
As the rescue party weren’t sure of the success of the operation, they had to request a police marksman for the worst case scenario.
Fortunately that wasn’t necessary, but in the process of being extracted, the back of one of Foxy’s knees fractured and dirty water seeped into the wound.
This led to a joint infection, and she required eight weeks of intensive care and treatment at Rossdales Equine Hospital.
This treatment meant Amy’s dad Mark, 49, incurred £20000 of vet bills to get her back on her feet.
As the insurance only offered £2000 towards the fees due to a previous tendon condition, the family had to use Amy’s life savings and sell Mark’s bike.
Amy said: “It’s a bit like a car being written off.
“The insurance company said that due to her tendon problems she was only worth £2000.
“Obviously to us she’s invaluable so we’ve done whatever was necessary to get her healthy again.
“I know I’ll never be able to jump her again but seeing her back on her feet was worth it.”