Horse rescued from deep mud in North Salem


Image courtesy of Croton Falls Fire Department

A female rider and her horse were about a mile into the woods off of Hardscrabble Road Tuesday night when the horse slipped in deep mud and became stuck. Several area emergency services units, including the Croton Falls Fire Department, North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps and North Salem Police Department, assisted in an equine rescue effort that stretched on for four hours.

Image courtesy of Croton Falls Fire Department

After becoming stuck just before 6:00 p.m., the rider left her horse to seek help but became disoriented on her way out of the woods. With the darkness and cold temperatures, conditions were quickly becoming dangerous for her and the animal.

Jeffery Daday, chief of the Croton Falls Fire Department, said that for first responders the most difficult part of the effort was first locating the horse so that crews could begin rescue efforts. Only utility vehicles and all-terrain vehicles were capable of navigating the deeply wooded area.

After about an hour of searching, rescue crews located the horse on its side in the mud in a wooded swamp area. Crews shuttled equipment in from the staging area to the horse’s location via utility vehicles.

Over the next several hours, crews, including Westchester and Putnam County Technical Rescue Teams, Yorktown Fire Department, the Patterson Fire Department with their Horse Rescue Special Operations Unit, Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, Westchester County Aviation and an equine veterinarian worked to free the horse.

By the time crews were finally able to free the animal, around 10:00 p.m., he was able to walk onto a horse trailer on his own. From there, he was taken to an equine veterinarian for observation.

Image courtesy of Croton Falls Fire Department

The rider suffered no serious injuries in the event. She was treated by an ambulance on the scene and released.

“It was a good job by all agencies working together,” Daday said. “A very good combined effort and a successful outcome.”

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