Fire crews rescue pony from 6ft pit

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An adventurous pony had to be rescued by fire crews after falling through an old pig slurry feed pit at a Thorpe Audlin farm.

The mischievous four-year-old gelding cob nicknamed Asbo by his owner Michelle Harkin, fell through the pit, which was covered by corrogated sheeting on Thursday afternoon at the field on Doncaster Road.

The pony spent three hours up to his neck in cold, dirty water while crews from Pontefract and Cleckheaton worked to pump out the pit and lift him free with specialist gear.

Michelle, 33, said: “The pit has been covered up for years, and normally the horses don’t go near it. But my boyfriend saw him wander over and stand straight in the middle, then fall through bottom first.”

Despite initially thinking Asbo had escaped unscathed from his ordeal, Michelle had to take him to Malton animal hospital on Sunday after he became lame.

She added: “He was so dirty when he came out of the water, we couldn’t see any marks on him, but on Sunday he couldn’t put any weight on his right back leg.”

Surgeons had to operate on Monday to repair a nick to a tendon in his leg, and Asbo is currently resting and recovering.

Michelle added: “When my boyfriend called and said the fire brigade were on their way and I needed to get the vet, I thought he was joking, I really thought he was having me on But when I got there I could just see Asbo’s head poking out of the hole.

“The vet came straight out and was fantastic, she gave him some sedative to calm him down and stayed with us all the way through, but the firefighters couldn’t believe how chilled out he was even before he was sedated.

“The fire brigade were absolutely brilliant. It was scary, because the water was so dirty we couldn’t see what damage there was. I’m just hopeful he will be ok.

“He’s an inquisitive little pony, he tries to get in the car door and into the feed room, when we ride him to the pub he tries to get on the garden table, he’s a mischief maker.

He’s really called Ranger, but we nicknamed him Asbo because he’s always into something and is such a character.”

Michelle, of Ash Grove, South Elmsall, said the slurry pit would be filled in to prevent Asbo having any more adventures.

She added: “I can’t see him wanting to go near it again, but we’re taking no chances.”