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Firefighters rescue horse stuck in icy pond near Loveland

The horse, named Buddy, got trapped in mud at the bottom of the pond, so Loveland Fire Rescue Authority came to his rescue.

LOVELAND, Colo. — Buddy the horse got into a dangerous situation overnight Saturday when he ended up in an icy pond south of Loveland with his legs stuck in the mud, according to the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA).

LFRA doesn't know how it happened exactly. Buddy might have been spooked or got disoriented. All they know is that after hours in the icy water, and likely suffering from hypothermia, the older horse needed help getting out of the pond.

Firefighters responded to the pond in the area of 2500 South County Road 13 at 8:18 a.m. Saturday.

They found Buddy in about 3 feet of water and unable to get his legs unstuck from the muddy bottom, said LFRA Division Chief Michael Cerovski.

The firefighters used a device to pump water at the horse's feet to break up the mud. After that, Buddy was able to move closer to shore but didn't have the strength to get out of the water, Cerovski said.

That's when firefighters requested help from City of Loveland Water and Power, which brought in a truck with a crane. Crews rigged a sling around Buddy and used the crane to lift him onto dry land.

The amount of time from when firefighters arrived on scene to when Buddy was removed from the pond was about an hour and 15 minutes.

Buddy wasn't home free yet, though. He was suffering from hypothermia, though he was shivering -- a good sign, Cerovski said. Crews covered him with a blanket and used propane heaters to warm him, he said.

Credit: Loveland Fire Rescue Authority
Firefighters help Buddy the horse warm up with a blanket and propane heaters after rescuing from an icy pond south of Loveland on Dec. 5, 2020.

Just before 11 a.m., Buddy was up and walking around.

In all, about 15 LFRA firefighters responded, along with Thompson Valley EMS and a city Water and Power crew.

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