A five-year-old Percheron named Lucky, owned by Joe Jorgensen, who lives in the Bluffton area, has turned out to be very lucky after falling through the ice covering Lloyd Creek last Monday.
“We took the horse to the vet clinic and she seems to be fine. It all worked out good and now the horse is back home,” said Joe’s father, Randy Jorgensen.
He said the horse had wandered about two and a half miles from home before ending up going through the ice in the creek.
Jorgensen said rescue workers including Ponoka County West District Fire Department worked hard to save the horse, but at one point he wasn’t sure if their efforts would be successful.
“I was thinking I would have to go and get my gun. I wasn’t going to let her suffer.”
But, thanks to the determined efforts of the fire department and neighbours, the horse was finally brought to safety.
“We were lucky. it all worked out good and we got our horse,” said Jorgensen.
Being part of a team that rescued a horse from the freezing water of Lloyd Creek that runs into the Blindman River was certainly not a planned activity for Cody Scott last Monday.
But, as it turns out, life is full of events that aren’t planned and without ever planning to, Scott became an important member of a impromptu search and rescue team that saved the huge Percheron from meeting her demise.
The chain of events leading to the horse’s rescue all began around noon last Monday. Temperatures hovered around minus 20C and Scott was out ploughing snow when Helen Jorgenson came by to ask if he had seen a horse in the vicinity.
The 20-year-old, who lives near the Keyera Gas Plant, hadn’t seen the animal but decided to take his snowmobile and do a quick search. Joe Jorgenson, who owned the horse was also out searching.
Before long the men came across the horse that had fallen through the ice in Lloyd Creek. Only his neck and head were sticking out of the water.
Scott said the ice seemed thick, but the horse had unknowingly stumbled upon a weak section and went through.
“The ice was good, but he must have just hit a bad spot,” he said. “And the bottom was almost like quick sand and it seemed the horse just kept sinking deeper and deeper.”
Using a rope and halter the men attempted to pull the horse out.
“It was a no go,” he said.
Obviously more help was needed so Scott jumped on his snowmobile and raced back home to call the fire department. By the time he got back to the scene, more people had arrived, but the horse was still partially submerged in the water.
Everyone worked for the better part of two hours to free the horse.
Ropes and a winch attached to the sled proved to be ineffective as the belt in the ski doo gave out.
Finally, Scott, in a somewhat daring move born, no doubt, at least partially out of desperation, reached under the water and attached a rope to one of the horse’s hoofs. The team of rescuers were able to pull that foot onto the ice and finally the horse got both front feet on the ice. With her front feet on the ice, the horse was finally pulled to safety.
“The horse laid down on the ice but we knew we had to get her up and get her moving,” said Scott. “She was soaking wet and we walked her around for a bit.”
Scott is grateful the fire department responded so quickly to his call.
“It was a team effort and it is a good feeling that it worked and we were able to get her out.”