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Champion horse stuck in Sussex swamp
This champion horse must have thought his final race was run when he fell into a deep swamp.
Diddy was discovered stuck in a dyke near his field by his owner Abi Finnis.
Luckily a group of firefighters stepped in to save the day and dragged the 19-year-old horse to safety.
In his racing days Diddy was known as Hever Golf Diamond and won all over the country at courses, including Ascot and Fontwell.
After his seventh win he retired in 2001 to spend the rest of his days living peacefully in a field near Upper Beeding.
But when Mrs Finiss went looking for Diddy early last Wednesday morning he was nowhere to be seen.
She said: “When I found him in the water I was sure he had drowned. I don’t know how long he was in there for but it was probably a long time.
“He’s so old and riddled with arthritis that I was sure he would never get out of there alive.”
In a panic Mrs Finnis called West Sussex Fire and Rescue, which sent an animal rescue squad. They sedated the struggling horse, wrapped a sling round his legs and were able to drag him to safety after two hours.
Mrs Finnis said Diddy was now walking around his field “as if nothing had happened”.
She said: “Without the fire rescue team he would definitely have drowned. I literally can’t thank those guys enough.”
Chris Kemp, watch manager at Horley animal rescue unit, led the operation to rescue the stuck horse.
He said: “Horses do get themselves into some precarious situations.
“This one was lying in about four feet of water and was on his side, so it didn’t look too good.
“Luckily we were able to get him out before it was too late. The owner did everything right by calling us when she did and it’s very kind of her to thank us.”