I came across this story today from November 13, and thought it was a great story worth sharing…
A group of local teens used some quick thinking to save a horse that fell through thin ice south of Edmonton.
The girls, all riding students at the Tamrac Ranch near Beaumont, were leading a mare to their instructor around 10:30 a.m. Saturday when she darted onto a pond, and fell through the ice.
“I saw the girls running up to the barn to get ropes, and I didn’t think anything of it at first,” said ranch owner Connie Manning-McNichol, who was teaching a lesson at the time.
The group, including 15-year-old Kendra Boyer, called 911 and ran for McNichol’s husband Clive.
“We were scared when she fell though and we knew we had to get her out,” said Boyer, adding the girls first thought was to get an adult.
“We got Clive, and then Connie and we did everything we could.”
The horse, a 10-year-old mare named Xena, had fallen through the deepest part of the pond, and was thrashing around, submerged up to her neck.
Amy Taskinen ,14, Simone Logan, 14, and Jordan Reid, 13, along with Boyer, chipped away at the 3-inch thick ice while Clive lay on sheets of plywood trying to reach the horse.
“I got down there and all the girls and my husband were soaked but determined,” said Manning-McNichol, who immediately jumped in herself, attempting to calm the horse and help it find purchase on the slippery ice.
“We broke enough of the ice to clear a path, and then we realized the plywood was in Xena’s way.”
She says Boyer didn’t hesitate, and jumped into the pond to move the planks out of the horse’s way.
“Everyone told me not to, but I knew I had to help her climb out,” said the W.P Wagner Grade 10 student.
“It was her best shot.”
It took almost half an hour, an ATV and all of the girls’ help, but the group was eventually able to help the horse out of the frigid water, just moments before a fire rescue crew arrived.
They immediately set to work warming the horse, with heated blankets the riding students had prepared during the ordeal.
“These girls were amazing, they did everything right, they thought of everything,” said Manning-McNichol. “They undoubtedly saved that horse’s life.”
Manning-McNichol said she couldn’t be more proud of her students, and also credits them with saving Xena’s four-month-old foal Tres Chic.
“Tres Chic was trying to follow his mother onto the pond while this was all going on, and the girls had the presence of mind to distract him, and lead him away,” she said.
Despite their subzero ordeal, the mare, the McNichol’s and all of the teens were in good health Sunday.
“We were worried about Xena coming down with pneumonia, but it looks like she’s going to be just fine, thanks to my girls,” she said.
Source: Edmonton Sun