Horse Rescued From Sinkhole in Frederick County

Appaloosa trapped for nearly five hours

By Tonya LaFleur
|  Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010  |  Updated 12:35 PM EDT
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Several well-trained crews spent hours working to free a horse from a sinkhole in Woodsboro, Md., Monday night.

Several well-trained crews spent hours working to free a horse from a sinkhole in Woodsboro, Md., Monday night.

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Several well-trained crews spent hours working to free a horse from a sinkhole in Woodsboro, Md., Monday night.

The 800-pound horse named Appaloosa fell in shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Frederick County firefighters rushed to the scene. Animal control officers, veterinarians, and even a horse rescue team were soon there to help.

By 6 p.m. many rescuers were getting frustrated.

The hole was between 12 and 15 feet deep. The ground was muddy from recent rainfall.

As the minutes ticked on, concern was growing about the health of the horse. It’s 30 years old and was having to breathe harder as it was surrounded by the cold earth.

At 8 p.m. a blanket of relief fell on the crowd of rescuers -- they were finally able to pull the horse free.

Now out of the hole, the horse was gently laid down on solid ground. He was alive. His breath could be seen pumping out of his chest in the cool air.  Crews worked to warm him.

A team of veterinarians is examining the horse. It’s not known yet if he has any serious injuries from the fall.

Frederick County firefighters said sinkholes are common in the Woodsboro area due to a nearby quarry. 

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