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Seven broncing horses rescued after falling into frozen dugout
Published Monday, April 17, 2017 11:20AM MDT
Last Updated Monday, April 17, 2017 7:15PM MDT
CTV News has obtained dramatic video showing a number of horses being rescued from a frozen dugout in northern Alberta over the weekend.
The video shows rescuers cutting into the ice in the dugout, located off of Highway 43, about 65 kilometres west of Grande Prairie.
Officials told CTV News ten horses wandered onto the ice, and fell through.
Rescue crews were first called to the area, a property west of Hythe, Alberta, at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Crews from Hythe, Beaverlodge, Laglace and Grande Prairie were involved in the rescue operation – rescuing the animals proved to be a challenge, as crews were also dealing with thin ice, cold water, and the risk of being injured by the animals.
“It is one of the more difficult ones that our crews have had to deal with,” Trevor Grant, Fire Chief of the County of Grande Prairie’s regional fire service said.
“Fortunately we do have people that are trained in this type of rescue, so it helped reduce that risk.”
Grant said the type of horses that fell through the thin ice also made the entire rescue more challenging.
“They weren’t domesticated,” Grant said. “They were a wild broncing horse, used in rodeo. So they’re not the docile horses that are standard riding horses.”
Rescuers used chainsaws and other tools to cut a path through the ice, allowing most of the horses to walk to safety.
A total of seven horses were saved, Grant said two died from exhaustion, and one from injuries sustained during the ordeal.
With files from Bill Fortier
A rescuer on a frozen dugout off of Hwy. 43 west of Grande Prairie, trying to rescue one of seven horses trapped in the ice on Sunday, April 16, 2017. Courtesy: W. Vavrek