'Miracle' rescue of horse stuck in septic tank on Skye




  • In Science
  • 2022-10-05 11:36:44Z
  • By BBC
Skye horse rescue
Skye horse rescue  

A woman has described the rescue of her horse from a septic tank as a "miracle".

O'Malley, a 35-year-old Irish Cob, became stuck after his entire right hind leg went into the tank in a field on Skye on Sunday.

His owner, Nikki Veen, feared the worst after she was alerted to the horse's plight by a neighbour.

But he was freed unscathed following a two-hour rescue involving neighbours and volunteer firefighters.

O'Malley's ordeal began at about 15:00 on Sunday.

Nikki said: "I got a phone call from a neighbour and I could tell by his voice that something was very wrong. He said O'Malley was down and it looked like he was stuck in a hole.

"With another neighbour I went up the field and realised just how serious it was.

"The saving grace was O'Malley is a bit of a super star and he is very sensible, so he hadn't kicked and had just waited for someone to find him."

She added: "It did get to the stage where he was lying flat out and I was really concerned he wasn't going to make it."

Skye horse rescue
Skye horse rescue  
Skye horse rescue
Skye horse rescue  
Horse rescue
Horse rescue  

Nikki, who has worked with horses since she was a young girl growing up in Holland, said O'Malley had helped her through her own ordeals, including her ongoing recovery from injuries in a motorbike accident that happened more than 30 years ago.

With help from neighbours, Nikki managed to get some straps under O'Malley in preparation for an effort to pull him out.

Dunvegan's volunteer firefighters were called.

Skye horse rescue
Skye horse rescue  

Nikki said: "By chance Colin, a digger driver, arrived to service my digger. That was a miracle."

More straps were placed under O'Malley and he was carefully lifted out of the septic tank using a digger.

"He stood on his back legs immediately and he gave everyone a 'woffle' - him saying a thank you to everyone for helping him - and can I get some food now," said Nikki.

O'Malley is now happily recovering from his ordeal.

Nikki said his rescue was thanks to her local community and the "amazing" efforts of Dunvegan fire service.

All images are copyright of Nikki Veen.

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