Firefighters use lasso to free horse trapped in icy pond


It's one thing to pull a small child or a dog from a frozen pond. 

But what do you do when a 2,000 pound horse is trapped in the ice?  You haul him up on the ice and slide him like a puck.

Well, it wasn't quite that easy.

Firefighters on Sunday were put to the test in a community with a large Amish population in Orrstown, about 45 miles west of Harrisburg.

A farmee called for help after a team of draft horses wandered onto the four-inch thick ice. Volunteers lured five of the horses off the ice with food.

But one of the Belgian horses had fallen through the ice about 20 feet from shore. When firefighters arrived they found him stuck with his hind end in the bottom of the pond, according to a report in the The Public Opinion newspaper Chambersburg.

Someone wisely had a lasso - and some cow rustling skills - and after an hour was able to secure the rope around his neck. 

"The whole time we were trying to lasso the horse," said Ed Hoover, chief of the Newburg-Hopewell Volunteer Fire Company. "It was almost an impossibility to lasso the horse at that distance. The horse would put his head down to the water. Once the lasso was on his neck, it was a matter of a minute or two until the horse was on shore."

The team of people grabbed onto the rope pulled the horse out of the hole and onto the ice. Since he was unable to stand they slid him to shore.

The horse stood up once he was off the ice and the owner said he would call a veterinarian to examine him.

For a full series of pictures from ABC-27 showing the rescue click here.



Photo/Public Opinion