BERRYTON (KSNT) – It’s a sticky situation one Shawnee County woman will never forget.
One of the horses she watches after on her property in Berryton found himself stuck in the mud on Wednesday evening. Without the help of one of her other horses, Amy Bermudez may not have found him as quickly as she did.
“It was dark, 6 o’clock when I go to get the horses in, and I call for Cooper, the victim, and he doesn’t come,” Bermudez told 27 News. “So I go to get my other horse that’s out in the yard, and when I go to get her, she normally just walks back with me. But this time, she ran the other way.”
She led Bermudez straight to a pond where the 30-year-old Arabian horse was stuck. The pond, according to Bermudez, was partially dried up, but the ground was soft enough to give way when Cooper got close to it.
Bermudez told 27 News she immediately called the horse’s owner upon finding him. The two thought they could get him out themselves, but Cooper’s struggles only sunk him deeper into the mud. While trying to free him, Bermudez herself got stuck in the mud, forcing the two to call the Shawnee Heights Fire Department for help.
A family friend brought his excavator to dig away the muck, while firefighters tried to fasten ropes to the horse to pull him to safety.
“Through all that process with ropes and straps and what not,” Bermudez said, “we also got some sedation for him so he’d quit fighting. Because every time we’d get him halfway up, he’d want to stand up, because it’s a natural for a horse, but that just put him farther into the mud.”
It took firefighters multiple strategies over the course of four hours to successfully get Cooper out of the mud. Once he made it out, Bermudez had to spend some time hosing him off, and trying to get rid of all the mud.
KSNT 27 News spoke with Bermudez on Thursday, the day after the accident, and she said Cooper is doing just fine. Aside from having a few gashes on his head from thrashing around in the mud, the worst of the damage was scaring his caretakers.
“For me it’s later thinking about what could’ve happened that’s scarier,” Bermudez said. “I was a firefighter, had a firefighting career, and in those situations, you just think what you’ve got to do and then do it.”
This isn’t something Bermudez has ever had to deal with before. Considering there isn’t much food near the pond, she said she never imagined the horses would venture to that part of the property. But after Cooper’s scare, Bermudez is looking into fixing the pond so none of the others horses she cares for end up in the same situation.