Horses rescued after falling through thin ice - WNCN: News, Weather

Horses rescued after falling through thin ice

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(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)
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WARREN COUNTY, MO (CNN) - Firefighters didn't have to rescue two horses from frigid waters, but their owner is very happy they did.

Meadow is glad to be back on dry land, and so is Meadow's partner Zihna. The horses escaped a life-threatening situation.

They had fallen through the ice that covered a lake. It was a situation their owner, Tina Churchill, had trouble watching.

"It was gut wrenching. I was horrified. It was a piece of my heart when you raise these babies. We bred the mares. I saw them born," Churchill said.

Her husband called Warrenton firefighters for help.

Just two days before, they had practiced ice water rescues in their new protective suits. Instead of a 200-pound human, they would use their skills to bring two half-ton horses to safety. It was dangerous.

"They were struggling. They were having a difficult time. We knew we needed to get them out as quick as possible," Chief Michael Owenby, Warrenton Fire Protection District said.

Firefighters used a chainsaw to cut a path so the horses could get out. Finally, after an hour, they were freed from their icy prison.

"It feels really good to go out and do this and get them out of there and know they're going to be okay," Chief Owenby said.

"They're my heroes. They came to the rescue and were here in a heartbeat and jumped right in a situation that they weren't necessarily required to do and saved the day and saved these horses," said Churchill.

Horses who are very special. They're used in therapy for young people who battle mental health problems.

Both Meadow and Zihna suffered some cuts to their legs, but other than that, they are okay. They've probably learned their lesson about walking on thin ice, and there is a lesson for humans, too.

"If your animal falls through, do not try to rescue it yourself. You'll be risking your own life," Matt Dabbs, Warrenton Firefighter said.

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