Horse rescued in Bunyip

Macclesfield Fire Brigade animal handler Holly Bast keeping the horse calm.

A mischievous pony named Poppy was rescued by Macclesfield Fire Brigade at about 6pm on Saturday 4 June after the animal had become trapped in a trench in Bunyip.

Macclesfield Fire Brigade attended as the large animal specialists and first lieutenant Eric Bast coordinated the rescue.

Bunyip and Nar Nar Goon Fire Brigades were also in attendance to provide lighting assistance and a veterinarian was called to the scene.

Mr Bast said the pony was tied up and had got loose, wandering down to an area where new paddocks were being built.

“It probably decided the grass on the other side of the trench was much greener and it got wedged in there,“ he said.

“We organised a veterinarian to be on scene to provide sedation for the animal to calm it down.

“We assessed the situation and thankfully we carry a specialised vertical lift harness for lifting animals out of the ground.

“It was quite tricky to get it the straps around its belly so we used an excavator on the property to move some of the dirt out of the way.“

Once removed from the trench, Poppy was checked for injuries and it was discovered the horse had a bit of dirt in its eye.

The veterinarian then flushed it out with a saline solution and the eye was found to be undamaged.

The rescue took about two hours to complete and Mr Bast said it wasn’t a job to be rushed.

“Your have to take your time when you’re working with an animal,“ he said.

“These jobs can be quite dangerous for people with no experience because the animal can suddenly start kicking and thrashing.“

The situation was a case of “bad luck“ according to Mr Bast.

“It was a case of a naughty pony that got herself loose but we’re reminding people with animals to be careful around open trenches.“

Macclesfield Fire Brigade is one of two brigades in Victoria that conduct animals rescues including Arthurs Creek Fire Brigade.