MORE than 25 people were involved in rescuing a horse which was swept away in a swollen river near Glarryford last Sunday.
And, the owner of the horse, Paddy Trainor, has praised everyone involved in the rescue - particularly since Paddy was in Galway at the time of the incident.
The Community Rescue Service, PSNI and local people came to the rescue of the horse which went missing from the Moyan Road area of Dunloy on the Saturday.
Shortly before 10:20am police received a call that the horse had gone missing and was thought to have gone into a river nearby.
Regional Commander of the Community Rescue Service, Sean McCarry told the Times: “The horse got into difficulty due to the heavy rain which made the river swell up.
“Because of the heavy flood and the high banks of the river, the horse wasn’t able to get back out and had become trapped.
“One of the Community Rescue Service kayak/canoe teams found the horse in one of the little rivers at the start of the Maine river.
“The horse had been in the water for about 24 hours and the first thing we had to do was to get the animal calmed down as it was very cold.
“The whole operation took about an hour and a half.
“We found a place on the riverbank where we were able to make a step-way for the horse to get up onto the bank.
“We got the horse’s owner’s son down to the scene and, with some enticement with food and help from our team, he was able to encourage the horse to come up onto the bank.
“A local farmer then kindly allowed the horse to be fed and calmed down until a horse box could be brought to take it back home.”
Mr McCarry praised the work of the members of the Community Rescue Service who attended the scene from Ballymoney, Coleraine and Portglenone.
A PSNI spokesperson also said: “This example of police initiative and the action of the local Community Rescue Service resulted in the successful rescue and the owner of the horse was quick to praise those involved.”
Horse owner Paddy explained: “The police were fantastic because within 20 minutes of my son calling them, they had alerted the Community Rescue Service who - I have to admit - I didn’t even know existed.
“And they were just brilliant as I was standing in Galway giving directions to those boys who were searching a huge area for the pony.
“Everyone involved was so helpful - the police, the Community Rescue Service, my son Ryan, Bobby Martin and Oldstone Vets in Clough.
“That Community Rescue Service gives a first class service. I haven’t had the chance to meet any of them because I was in Galway but I will be making it my business to get in contact with them.”