CLAREMONT, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - An emotional rescue took place in Claremont Thursday morning after a therapy horse was found stuck in a pond.
"It just tugged on your heartstrings to see him in such distress,” Gail Wartner told FOX 46.
Wartner is the Executive Director at Rising Hope Farms. She took cell phone video when she found their nearly 30-year-old therapy horse Gideon stuck in the mud, deep in a pond.
"He tried struggling and the more he struggled the further down he got into the mud," she said.
A team of firefighters, volunteers, EMS and a company with a crane worked for more than an hour to rescue the injured horse from the water. Eventually, he was sedated and hoisted to safety.
"He has a bad cut on his back flank where he's going to require some stitches, and he's got a few cuts and scratches from trying to struggle to get out but other than that he's fine,” said Wartner.
Gideon has been on the farm more than a decade and has helped hundreds of people. Now hard of sight and hearing he mainly works with special needs children. Wartner says it was heartbreaking watching him struggle to survive.
"It was scary till we got him up even after we set him down on the ground we weren't sure if his legs were going to be broken or something. But when they set him down he stood right up on his legs, and we all just breathed a breath of fresh air and we were so excited."
The horse known for helping others was given another chance at life by a team of people committed to helping him.