Mar 24, 2011 3:06 AM by Ariel Wesler

Horse back on its feet after falling into ravine in Arroyo Grande

A 34-year-old horse is alive and standing tonight, after falling into a 15 foot ravine in rural Arroyo Grande. The horse was rescued just after five this afternoon at Stagecoach Road and El Sueno Way.

It was a massive group effort to rescue a 34-year-old horse named Storm's End, or Storm for short. His owner, Bonnie Sampson, found him lying in a gully--upside down in the water.

"It was all shrouded with trees and branches and brush and there was storm in the gully with the stream running under him. he was down with his head and the lower end, on his back with his legs up the side of the hill," said Bonnie Sampson, Storm End's Owner.

She first tried to pull him out herself, but at 950 pounds, it was impossible, so she called for help and Cal Fire responded.

"It took 20 men to pull him out. They put big poles, stakes in the ground, hooked up a pulley, had little sleds for him to ride on," Sampson said.

The Horse Emergency Evacuation Team also came to the rescue. The vet says storm was in shock and suffering from hypothermia. It appears the animal slipped down a muddy hill and into a ravine.

"We got some IV fluids going to him and sedated him and some anti-inflammatories, so he's doing good. He's doing really well," said Andy Dibbern with the Equine Center in San Luis Obispo.

So after three hours and a lot of help from his friends, It seems storm will see brighter days ahead.

"It looks like that youngster is going to see many more summers. We're so thrilled about that," Sampson said.

Storm was transported to the Equine Center in San Luis Obispo, where he is recovering. Doctors are giving him fluids and monitoring his kidneys, but they say it looks like he's going to make it.

If you think 34 years is old for a horse, well, vets say some horses can live to be 40.


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