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Horse rescued from swimming pool

December 02, 1998|By BRYN MICKLE

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - A thoroughbred mare had to be coaxed from a swimming pool Tuesday afternoon after the horse fell through a tarp and into the water, said officials.

Berkeley County Humane Officer John Wigh said the horse, named Easy, apparently got spooked shortly after noon Tuesday and stepped on a tarp covering an in-ground pool at a private horse farm on Dam No. 5 Road near the Potomac River.

Wigh said the mare's hoof cut through the tarp, causing the horse to go through and into the shallow end of the pool.

Wigh and Hedgesville, W.Va., veterinarian Robin Townsend coaxed the horse over to the corner of the pool and, after a few minutes of gentle tugging, persuaded the mare to turn and jump out of the chest-deep water.

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Wigh said the horse was dried off immediately after its half-hour ordeal and, aside from being frightened by the experience, was fine.

"It was pretty scared," Wigh said. "It was in a very unnatural environment."

Townsend said the horse was "great" throughout the ordeal and did not require any drugs to get through the experience.

"It was more of a people emergency than an animal emergency," Townsend said.

Townsend said he has treated Easy in the past and would not disclose the name of the horse's owner because of doctor-client privilege.

A woman at the farm had no comment on the incident.

Townsend, who works at All Creatures Veterinary, said it is not unusual for animals to get trapped in sinkholes or perk test sites.

Townsend said the biggest concern is not so much freeing the animal, but making sure the people helping the animal don't get hurt in the process.

"You don't want anybody getting injured if the animal starts to kick," said Townsend.

Easy's midday swim was not the first time Wigh had to help an animal get out of a place it shouldn't be.

Two years ago, a bull fell into a basement in the southern end of Berkeley County, he said. In that case, a tractor was needed to extricate the animal.

"The bull was OK, but the basement was pretty damaged," Wigh said.

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