Vet rides to the rescue to free horse trapped in Barlaston

Paul Snape from Shires Vets (in blue) watching on as the fire crew haul Carmen free.

A leading county vet answered an emergency call to team up with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to help free a stricken horse which had become trapped during the recent bad weather.

Paul Snape, large animal clinical director at Shires Vets, was called out to sedate and monitor five-year-old Carmen at her stables in Barlaston before fire officers could start attempting to free her.

After a tense and testing two-hour ordeal for the animal, where she had to be fully anaesthetised, it all ended happily with the mare safely freed from her horsebox.

Paul monitoring as the fire crew complete their rescue.

Equine expert Paul, who is based at Shires’ Eccleshall practice, said:

“Carmen had a very lucky escape indeed. She’d got her leg trapped in the ramp of her horsebox and became stuck fast. I was called in to sedate her and keep a close watch on her while the fire crew cut her free. It was a tense time but, incredibly, Carmen escaped with only a cut and some swelling.

She was soon back on her feet and posing for pictures with her rescuers, who did an absolutely brilliant job.”


Carmen with her hind leg caught in the ramp to the horsebox.


Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service station manager James Green said:

“The horse was trapped by her legs between the loading ramp and the vehicle itself.

Crews from Leek and Longton used hydraulic cutting tools and specialist large animal rescue equipment to release the horse, in co-operation with Shires, who managed the rescue from a veterinary standpoint.

The professional knowledge provided by the vets combined with effective teamwork led to a successful and happy resolution to the incident.”


Carmen back on her feet and recovering with one of her rescuers.