Sask. tow crew rescues horse from unmarked well

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — September 21, 2015 — An 11-year-old horse trapped in an unmarked well in Saskatchewan is now safe and sound thanks to the efforts of a local towing company.

CTV News reports the 1,700-pound mare, Daisy, fell into a covered, five-metre deep hole on a farm near Martensville the evening of September 16. Daisy’s owner, Russ Thiessen, estimates the horse was lodged in the hole—reaching up to her chest, with her front legs sticking out—for up to four hours before she was discovered.

It was Thiessen’s wife who suggested calling for a tow truck.

“She said, ‘We’ve got to find something to get her out of the well,’” Thiessen told CTV. “Just an ordinary tractor from the loader wouldn’t do it.”

Staff from Brad’s Towing joined neighbours and veterinarian Jesse Vargo in carefully helping Daisy to safety, a slow and steady task that took two hours and three tries before the mare made it out of the hole and onto dry ground.

Vargo, who worked to ease Daisy’s pain with medication ahead of the rescue, says she was calmer than expected, but it was obvious she had been struggling to climb out.

Once hoisted from the well, the horse was placed gently on its side, but was up and walking within 20 minutes, according to Thiessen. She suffered minor injuries, including bruising and abrasions on her front legs and above one eye. A visit from a horse chiropractor is likely to follow.

Tow company owner Brad Stratychuck told CBC it was the third horse rescue he’d seen in over three decades in the industry.

“We get some very strange calls,” Stratychuck said in the report. “When the conservation officer called us to haul a moose out of the city, I thought that was pretty odd, too.”

Thiessen says he’s kept horses in the area for the last decade and was completely unaware of the well.

“Obviously it was in the back of the pasture,” he says. “It could be 50 years old.”

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