A FOUR-hour rescue operation to save a pregnant horse stuck in thick mud on a South Yorkshire construction site had a happy ending.
Firefighters were able to bring the mare back from the brink of death – thanks to the efforts of a digger driver who responded to a call for help on his day off.
Fire chiefs paid tribute to Armthorpe man Dave Oliver who gave up his Saturday to play a major role in the rescue near Balby Carr, Doncaster.
“He did a fantastic job,” said station manager Steve Adams, in charge of the operation after the horse was spotted in distress by a walker.
“There was no way we would have got the horse out without his help because there was so much mud, which meant our machinery could not be used.”
The horse, belonging to nearby travellers, had wandered on to the site of the new road where silt had turned into a quagmire because of heavy rain.
Mr Adams said: “It was really stuck in this fine silt, all the way up to its chest and because it was bitterly cold we were concerned because we didn’t know how long it had been there.”
He described the rescue as ‘very rewarding’.