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horse stuck in mud

Just a note to spur some safety thoughts.  Did anyone catch the news in the
Philadelphia area last week about Michelle Colket's gelding Thayer getting
stuck in mud and cold water along the Schuylkill River Canal trail, and the
rescue attempts taking 3-4 hours?  She didn't have her cell phone but said
it would not have done any good because she would have had it in her cantle
bag.  She said she yelled towards an old guy along the bank to call for
rescue.  She almost lost her horse from exposure and exhaustion; fortunately
a vet came and also her husband got the message, got the trailer, and
followed the news helicopters to the site.  It took about 20 people to get
Thayer out, plus cooperation from the RR to slow the trains scheduled on the
nearby tracks so the rescuers could work safely.  It took several attempts
at fastening a sling and re-trying the ascent of the bank.  She had been
conditioning him for competition, and had gone through that spot last year
with no problem, and the water was clear to the apparent bottom sand, but
the hurricane Floyd floods rearranged the bottom footing.  Very interesting
story in the newspapers.  Michelle said the only people that risked the cold
water to help keep the horse's head up and fasaten the sling were the
(little) WOMEN!!!   Bridget in SE PA

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