Clinton-Warren Fire District lieutenants Brad Burton and Andrew Wysong spend their days responding to emergencies of all kinds, but Tuesday morning brought a new one: A horse trapped in a frozen pond near State Route 132.
The equestrian-in-distress, 14-year-old Banjo, had fallen into the freezing water around 10 a.m. and could not break the inches-thick ice around himself to reach the shore.
“We took tools and busted the ice up, and that was kind of our game plan: To get in front of the horse and bust the ice up and coax the horse back out,” Wysong said.
A cold, scared horse isn’t an easy animal for a stranger to coax, however. Burton said he and other rescuers pet Banjo and talked to him in order to gain his trust.
“I didn’t want to get kicked,” he added.
Owner Jason Cole arrived shortly after Burton and Wysong successfully led Banjo back to shore, where he was wrapped in blankets and got a check-up from a veterinarian.
“Our horses are like family members to us, so I got there as fast as I could,” he said.