Pony's 10-ft drop down a culvert: 3-hour operation to rescue Steffie

A THREE-HOUR rescue operation was launched after a pony fell 10 feet into an underground culvert.

Three crews of firefighters, a search and rescue team, RSPCA officers and a vet battled to get eight-year-old Steffie out of the hole in a field off Brewery Lane in Shibden valley.

The horse – a Welsh-bred blue roan – is not believed to have suffered any serious injuries.

Katie Clegg, 16, from Wheatley, rides the horse and has won prizes with her at local shows.

She said Steffie had been missing since Saturday morning and she – and owner Christine Wood – had been searching for her for three days.

"It was awful seeing her pulled out but I'm glad she's OK," said the Holy Trinity Senior School student.

A dog walker spotted the horse, which is believed to have fallen when a layer of clay over the culvert gave way on Friday night after heavy rain.

Crews from Elland, Illingworth and Cleckheaton organised the rescue and vet Tim Booth was lowered into the hole to sedate the animal.

She was then put into a sling and hoisted up with a crane.