Hot Chocolate lands in hot water

By Sharon AsplinA WOMAN has praised paramedics and firefighters who battled to free her horse after it became trapped in a ditch following a riding accident.

By Sharon Asplin

A WOMAN has praised paramedics and firefighters who battled to free her horse after it became trapped in a ditch following a riding accident.

Sandra Coe, 42, was walking in Colchester Road, Tollesbury, yesterday morning when her horse, Hot Chocolate, was startled by a passing four-wheel drive vehicle towing a trailer.

The mare side-stepped and slithered down into the ditch, taking Mrs Coe with her.

Mrs Coe said: “The car was not going fast and it was nobody's fault. I was pinned underneath her and she was thrashing her front legs about, which was extremely dangerous.

“My husband Michael, who was with me, managed to stop this and the man in the trailer stopped and pulled me out, which took some doing as I was quite firmly wedged.”

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An ambulance crew from Burnham arrived and treated Mrs Coe for cuts, bumps, bruises and mild hypothermia. She was given dry clothes and warmed up in the back of the ambulance, but did not require hospital treatment.

“I will live, but I was a bit shocked. The emergency services were all wonderful,” she said.

“When they got her out of the ditch, she could not get up and just lay there because she was too stressed. She was traumatised and shaking like a leaf, but rallied once she was washed down and warmed up.”

Mrs Coe added 10-year-old Hot Chocolate, which the family had raised from an orphan foal, seemed fine after its ordeal and had been left with just one small cut.

Paramedic supervisor, David Hilton, said: “This was a job well out of the ordinary.

“It took over an hour for us, the crews from Essex Fire and Rescue and a vet to rescue the mare. About a dozen people tried lifting, digging and pulling to rescue her.

“We then spent half-an-hour to coax and pull the mare back up on to her feet. If she had stayed down whilst being hypothermic and very distressed, she would have had to be put down.”

He added: “Luckily, we managed to coax her up and warmed her with lots of blankets and eventually she walked back to her stable.

“I suppose this is one of the good things about working for the ambulance service, you just never know what sort of job you'll get next.”

Sub-Officer Richard Clover, of Tollesbury fire station, said: “The horse was on one side with its feet firmly stuck in the mud and water and its head through a hedge - a very precarious position.

“Crews from Tollesbury and the Colchester rescue tender worked together to free it by using our lines and rolls of hose around it. The horse was quite distressed and the vet had to sedate it before we could do anything.”

sharon.asplin@eadt.co.uk

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