Sinkhole Tries To Swallow Horse On Kentucky Farm

by | 01.26.2018 | 9:02am

A 25-year-old Warmblood named Historie is one lucky equine, in more ways than one. Found down in her field by caretaker Joe Shuman when she didn't come up to eat, her owners, Drs. Claire Latimer and Rolf Embertson, both veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, were notified. Dr. Embertson was still at Rood and Riddle when he learned that the mare's left hind limb was trapped in a hole, so he rallied interns Drs. Kaitlin Keane and Lindsey Johnson, surgery resident Dr. Liz Elzer, recovery stall ropes, drugs and supplies.

By the time the team arrived 20 minutes later, Historie was completely trapped in a 7-foot sinkhole, with only her head and front feet sticking out. The team tied a rope around the mare's front feed and tied the other end of the rope to a tractor bucket to prevent her from sliding further into the hole. An IV catheter was started to sedate her and prevent further struggling.

Team members began shoveling a ramp adjacent to the hole that had Historie trapped. As daylight was rapidly fading, the team needed help, so they called on the Lexington Fire Department. Within 15 minutes of receiving the call, three fire trucks, hoisting equipment and a rescue team arrived. After talking with the nearly 10 vets on-site, a plan was devised to extricate the mare.

The mare was anesthetized by Nicole Bone, LVT, Rood and Riddle anesthetist, and a sling was placed around her abdomen. The team then hoisted the mare out of the sinkhole using a series of pulleys.

Once extracted from the hole, Historie was given fluids and medication for pain. The hole was filled with tractor buckets of dirt. Historie recovered from anesthesia well, stood and walked away. She is completely recovered and back to grazing happily.

The Lexington Fire Department undergoes specialized training for situations involving large animals. This training is of particular importance in Fayette and the surrounding Kentucky counties because of the high population of large animals.

Read more at the Rood and Riddle Facebook page.

Learn more about the Lexington Fire Department here.

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