FIREFIGHTERS used special equipment to rescue an elderly horse from a muddy ditch.

Two crews from Nelson and Burnley Fire Stations were called to a farm in Read on Sunday.

The owner of the stallion, named Massey, had discovered him lying on his side between muddy embankments.

Specially trained animal rescue firefighters from Nelson were supported by colleagues from Burnley in the rescue attempt on Sunday at 4.20pm. The incident at New Hall Farm on Back Lane Road saw the animal sedated while firefighters carried out their task.

Burnley Watch Manager Neil Ashworth said: “The horse was in quite a remote location so the owner loaned us her four by four to transport crews and equipment. Although we have our own it saved a lot of time. The animal could also quite easily have kicked out while we were carrying out the rescue but the owner, a vet was able to sedate it before we attached equipmetn to pull him out.

“The horse was in a bit of a fix and facing the wrong way from us. It took us a while to turn him around before we were able to bring him up. One of the embankments was quite steep and he would never have been able to get out on his own. When he was brought out his owner was able to take him into the stable to get warm and have something to eat.”