Horse Rescued from Sandbar

An anonymous donor picked up the tab to rescue a horse from a sandbar in the middle of the fast-moving Gila River five days after the animal was stranded there when its rider attempted to cross the water, The Arizona Republic reported.

Rescuers turned to a helicopter after previous attempts to walk the horse out were deemed too dangerous.

Colorado, an 8-year-old horse, ended up on the sandbar last Friday after four riders attempted to cross a wash. The water was deeper than anticipated; one rider crossed successfully while the other three had to be rescued. One horse was euthanized after suffering a broken leg.

"It's probably taken a few days off my life," Colorado's owner, Mark Eshenbaugh, told the paper.

Tuesday morning's helicopter rescue went smoothly, with Colorado deposited safely on solid ground with no injuries.

Groups involved in the effort included the Southwest Equine Medical & Surgical Center, El Mirage Firefighters, Arizona Equine Rescue Organization, and Superstition Search and Rescue.

Read more from The Arizona Republic or watch a video.

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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