Firefighters Rescue Horse That Fell in Swamp and Couldn't Get Out: 'She Was Exhausted'
These firefighters were not foal-ing around when they were called to rescue Cupcake the Horse, who fell into a swamp in a Colorado park.
Cupcake's rider was taking the 13-year-old equine on a hike in Cherry Creek State Park when suddenly, the horse lost its footing. Parts of the marshy trail were overtaken with knee- or waist-deep mud and rainwater, and Cupcake fell, taking her rider down with her.
According to South Metro Fire Department public information officer Eric Hurst, the rider was not hurt, and was able to call park rangers for help.
Within hours, about 30 personnel, including the South Metro Fire Department's tactical rescue team, state park rangers and ranch hands, arrived on the scene to rescue Cupcake, mistakenly called 'Buttercup' in earlier tweets.
Buttercup is 13 years old and very tired. 15 personnel from SMFR on scene hiking in with rescue tools. pic.twitter.com/C7MqQbYzuL— SouthMetroFireRescue (@SouthMetroPIO) July 28, 2016
Officials tried everything to lift the horse to her feet, including "brute strength from a ranch hand," but the horse had been too fatigued to even stand. They also feared the horse's head would submerge in the water, causing her to drown.
"But she was exhausted," Hurst said, "and went right back down."
Cupcake's regular veterinarian, who lived one town away, soon arrived to the scene with IV fluids and an injection intended to give the horse enough strength to stand.
According to Hurst, the injection contained steroids, epinephrine, and an anti-inflammatory medicine intended to ease its pain.
By the vet's instruction, officials then held the horse in place. Hurst said they would know when the horse was strong enough to get up when officials couldn't hold her down any longer.
Within 30-45 minutes, Hurst said the horse began to make indication that she was ready to get moving.
"With some encouragement and pulling along, she was able to walk out pretty much under her own strength," he said.
Later that afternoon, Cupcake's veterinarian confirmed that the horse was in stable condition with no broken bones, and her rider was able to take her home.
Hurst told InsideEdition.com that Cupcake's rescue was the second rescue at Cherry Creek State Park involving an animal. The South Metro Fire Department was called in a month ago to rescue a dog that was stranded on rocks.