Mud rescue operation ends in tragedy as Billy the horse dies

Horse rescued
Rescuers had to use a small crane to help Billy stand up (Photo: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service)

A HORSE has died within a day of having to be rescued by firefighters after becoming exhausted from being stuck in mud.


News of 15-year-old Shire horse Billy’s death was posted on the Friends of the Hampshire Animal Rescue Team Facebook page last Friday.

As reported in the A&T, animal rescue specialists were among the crews that went to Billy’s rescue last Wednesday morning on farmland off Fryern Court Road in Burgate, near Fordingbridge.

The alarm was raised shortly before 10am, with reports the one-ton animal, which was 20 hands high, had been found stuck in mud earlier that morning.

Having been moved to dry land, he had collapsed and was unable to stand.

Assisted by a vet who sedated Billy, the rescuers from Lyndhurst, Brockenhurst and Fordingbridge, along with a Dorset crew, attached stops before gently lifting him onto his hooves with a small crane. The operation took about two-and-a-half hours.

Horse rescued
Having been left able to stand again, Billy sadly died during the night (Photo: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service)

The Friends Facebook post said: “Sorry to say that the owner has reported that Billy died during the night. Always so sad for everyone connected.”

The owner, Georgie Ash, also shared the news of her loss in a post on the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Facebook page, while paying tribute to the rescue crews.

“Unfortunately, we lost Billy early hours of this morning,” she posted last Thursday.

“This is a big chunk missing out of our lives, especially mine this morning. Thank you to everyone that helped yesterday. Sorry I wasn’t there to thank you in person.”