To save her 17-year-old show horse Astro from drowning, a desperate woman clung to him for three hours. As the ocean tide approached dangerously, Nicole Graham kept her horse calm and above the deadly mud quagmire. On an afternoon ride in Melbourne, Australia, Astro, who weighs 900 pounds, got stuck in the mud.
Nicole’s daughter Paris had joined her on her ride, but her horse also got stuck. Despite Nicole’s efforts, Paris’ horse could not be freed. When Nicole tried to free Astro, he got stuck even deeper, so all she could do was keep him calm until help arrived. Astro was sedated while a harness was attached to him so that a tractor could pull him out after Paris called for help. It took rescuers three hours to pull Nicole’s horse to safety, who owns more than ten horses.
“It was a terrifying experience. The Daily Mail cites The Geelong Advertiser in reporting that Nicole was heartbroken to see her horse exhausted and struggling.
It’s been 20 years since I rode here and I’ve never had a drama. There were no signs and I didn’t realize it was so boggy.”
A fire lieutenant who helped pull the horse to safety described the mud as “quicksand.” The only damage Astro suffered was dehydration and some muscle soreness.
“A lot of horses don’t make it, and I think if the owner wasn’t there, the chances of survival would have been very low,” said vet Stacey Sullivan.
Nicole did a great job keeping Astro calm until he could be removed. It must have been terrifying for him.
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