Firefighters Rescue Horse from Ravine


By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– Firefighters responded to a call of a horse stuck in a ravine at Elm St. and Alta Mesa Rd. in Hesperia.  Upon arrival, firefighters found the horse agitated and trapped upside down inside a 3-4 foot deep trench located at the bottom of a 30 foot hillside. The sole rider of the horse was uninjured and able to assist rescuers at the scene.

After assessing the situation, it was determined the horse needed to be sedated in order to safely remove it from the ravine. A local veterinarian responded to the scene and sedated the animal long enough for firefighters to conduct a rescue. A Rancho Cucamonga Fire Dept. technical rescue team that has specialized equipment and training in rescuing large animals responded to assist County Firefighters.

Once the horse named Quigley was sedated, Firefighters sprang into action and starting digging an area around the horse utilizing hand tools.  Once a large enough area was erected, firefighters were able to get a skid underneath the animal and slide the horse down the hillside to a safe location.  Once the sedative wore off, Quigley was brought to his feet and was able to walk himself into the horse trailer.

The entire rescue was complete within 3 hours. Quigley sustained minor scrapes and bruising.  Owners were taking Quigley to the veterinarian come daylight.

It was determined the horse and rider were trying to climb the hillside when the horse lost its footing in the large crevasses that had been created over time due to heavy rains.  The adult male rider was able to jump from the horse prior to the horse falling backward and rolling down the hill.  The horse rolled several more times before landing upside down in the ravine.

County Fire responded with twelve firefighters, including members of its own Technical Rescue Team, and was assisted by 6 Rancho Cucamonga firefighters.

County Fire advises horseback riders to use extra precaution when riding at night and always use a helmet light or flashlight, and carry a cell phone and extra water.

Courtesy photos can be located at www.sbcfire.og under latest news.

Contact:  Jay Hausman, Captain/PIO

(951) 218-1925

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