A horse being returned to its pasture in La Pine Monday night fell into a hole, requiring a multi-agency rescue.
Sgt. Aaron Harding said a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy was dispatched around 5:15 p.m. to a report of two horses at large in the area of Green Forest Road and Holtzclaw Road. When the deputy arrived in the area, he was told by citizens that the owner, Frank Gorden, caught the horses and walked them home.
The deputy arrived at the residence and discovered one of the horses fell into a hole when the owner was attempting to return it to pasture. The hole was about 6-feet long by 4-feet wide by 2-feet deep and was dug out to repair a well on the property, Harding said.
After about 20 minutes, it was obvious to the deputy and the horse owner that more help was needed to get the horse out of the hole and back onto its feet . Harding said the horse was showing signs of exhaustion after failing to remove itself from the hole, possibly due to its’ age.
A veterinarian and horse rescue organizations were contacted and asked to assist. Dr. Kelley A. Jones and members from Mustangs To The Rescue and Mustangs MEND responded to the scene. Dr. Jones and the rescue personnel utilized Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue (TLAER) techniques to extricate the horse from the hole. Additional deputies also arrived to assist.
The 20-year-old horse Bozeman was able to stand with a little assistance a short time after. Bozeman was down for a total of about three hours. He appeared to be uninjured and is expected to fully recover.