A wild horse near the Summerland area was up the creek with no way out.
But thanks to quick actions by a local rescue organization the scary situation turned into a good news story.
The wild horse fell into raging waters at Trout Creek in Summerland on Saturday.
A passerby Leona Hopman Hrncirik was out with her dogs and first noticed the horse in distress.
Hopman Herncirik called O.A.T.S. a horse rescue organization to come and help.
Theresa Nolet, a West Bench resident, took video of the rescue of the horse which was name appropriately enough, River.
It was a real struggle..If she had been another 15 minutes in the water, the hypothermia and shock could have been too much for her.”
The horse was first seen with its head going up and down, lying down in the water after getting stuck on the rocks.
Nolet heard about the rescue from O.AT.S. and went to gather up medical supplies and drove to the scene in her truck, which has a trailer attached.
When Nolet first arrived on the scene, fire crews and volunteers were trying to get the feral horse, a filly about six months old, out of the rushing water.
Nolet said they were supporting the horse’s head and trying to get her on her feet, but she was flailing around and the rope came off her neck and head.
Once loose, River started floating down the river again, but was able to regain her footing.
It was close enough to the bank, and the firemen were able to reach out and put the rope around her neck. They also secured more ropes on her, so she wouldn’t float away again.”
Rescuers attempted to clear a path, but at that point, River was very weak and collapsed. At this point, Nolet said, someone got a sheet of plywood and dragged her up using that.
The cold, wet animal could not stand up on her own, but finally those on scene succeeded in getting her up. The rescue effort was not over, because the helpers still needed to get River into the horse trailer.
“It was all very hard to watch, very emotional,” said Nolet.
River was subsequently taken to a foster home in Summerland, and as of Monday was in good shape.
Photo credit: O.A.T.S Horse Rescue