Nicole Graham was taking a ride along the Australian coastline just south of Melbourne when her horse stepped and sank into a pit full of “quicksand-like mud.” There Graham stayed with the horse for three hours until it could be freed by rescuers.
The Daily Mail reports that Graham was on a ride near Geelong with her daughter when 18-year-old horse named Astro got stuck. Graham then shouted a warning to her daughter, Paris, but even that was too late. The younger girl’s horse sank partially in the muck. Graham is reported as saying the experience was “terrifying” and “heartbreaking”:
We went straight down and under. There was mud everywhere and every time I moved it sucked me back down. It wouldn’t let us go.”
After ensuring her daughter and her horse were safe, she returned to Astro and prayed that rescuers would arrive before the tide engulfed the horse.
She added: “I’ve been riding here for 20 years and never had a drama. I’ve never seen any signs and didn’t realise it was so boggy.
“When I saw the dust from the rescue trucks I was so relieved. I was starting to get overwhelmed.”
Fire lieutenant Roger Buckle, who was among a team of helpers, said: “It was like a quicksand.”
Fire crews worked with a local farmer, who provided a tractor, and a veterinary team. The firemen used hoses and a winch, but none of this equipment was successful.
The Daily Mail reports that a helicopter was even on hand as a last resort. Aside from being dehydrated and exhausted, Stacey Sullivan, the horse’s vet, said he was doing fine.
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