The Great Netherlands Horse Rescue

Sunday, November 12, 2006

In late October, a herd of over 100 horses were trapped knee deep for three days near the town of Marrum (Mare), ninety miles north of Amsterdam, after a storm hit the area.

Although horses can swim and the nearest dry land was only a few hundred meters away there were fears that some horses could have been snagged on barbed wire. Firefighters aboard small boats brought hay, feed and water to a small patch of land, but were unable to rescue the stranded horses.

Animal welfare officers and firefighters carefully mapped out the safest route, but an attempt to rescue the herd was called off after the water level dropped in some places, causing the boats to run aground.

Then four brave young women on horseback guided the animals the 600m (650 yards) to shore. Nineteen horses drowned before help arrived, though the many were reported to be in a good condition.

View this moving 6 minute video showing the rescue, and be prepared to shed a tear.