Dutch rescuers try to save trapped horses

2 11 2006

Trapped horses

Rescue workers in the Netherlands have been trying to save a herd of around 100 horses, that have been stranded on a tiny knoll since a fierce storm flooded their pasture two days ago. Many of the animals have spent two nights knee-deep in water, and 18 have drowned. Link

Update, Nov. 3: A herd of 100 horses that had been trapped by flood waters for four days in Holland have been rescued.

Water levels receded enough to allow rescue riders, including veterinarians, firefighters and animal welfare officers to reach the horses.

Eighteen of the animals had died before the rescue, while another 20 were ferried to safety on boats on Thursday.

Rescue efforts had been hampered by high waters in the flooded meadow by the Wadden Sea, near the northern town of Marrum.

Dutch media showed pictures of the panicky animals crowded together on a patch of land surrounded by knee-deep water, which was pushed outside the dykes of Marrum by a storm on Tuesday.

Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident. The horses’ owners said they had forgotten about the animals when the storm started.

The Netherlands, two-thirds of which lies below sea level, has battled for centuries to claw back land from the sea and protect itself against floods. Link

Pix and comments from the BBC:

An attempt to rescue about 100 horses stranded on a stretch of flooded land has gripped the Netherlands.

The animals were trapped for three days after storms struck the area around Marrum, 145km (90 miles) north-east of Amsterdam.

Nineteen horses drowned before help arrived.

The nearest land was only a few hundred metres away but there were fears that submerged barbed wire might hurt the horses if they tried to swim to safety.

Animal welfare officers and firefighters waded through the waters to map out an escape route.

Four women on horseback then led the herd about 600 metres to safety.

The one horse that failed to follow the herd was eventually brought to safety, but collapsed and needed attention from veterinarians.

A complaint has been lodged against the horses’ owners for allegedly failing to heed storm warnings.



12 responses

3 11 2006

How awful!!! I did not read the link. I am too heart sickened…….

3 11 2006
I Gallop On

Oh that’s horrid. Those poor horses.

13 11 2006
Patricia Barlow-Irick

There is a link to a wonderful video on the horse rescue on my webpage: Experiments In Training Equines. Of course, the video is very hard to see with all the tears streaming down your face, but click on it anyway.


17 11 2006
Susan M Jones

I had tears in my eyes and “prickles” all over me as I watched the video!!! GOD BLESS the 4 fearless women and their incredible steeds…people who don’t know horses have NO IDEA how difficult that maneuver was!!! Hope all the horses stay safe and find good homes… and SHAME on the owner or whoever was responsible for them!!!! Godspeed, love… to the brave women and men that TOOK ACTION when no else would!!!! Love you all!!!!! SMJ

12 12 2006
Mai Trya

Would you publish the name of the 4 brave women? Thanks.

17 12 2006

I would if I could! I’ll try to find that out for you.

31 01 2007


31 01 2007

Amazing women, tearful rescue, but so wonderful. I love happy endings, but I love horses more. Those four remarkable women certainly showed their love of these noble animals.

14 02 2007
Billie Jean Allen

I was so touched at what these women did to save these horses. Being an animal lover, myself, I had tears when watching the video. God bless these brave ladies.

28 02 2007
Top posts, 2007-02-28 « Bridlepath

[…] Dutch rescuers try to save trapped horses […]

21 04 2007
Darla Shelden

The video is now posted on Google:
Rescue two hundred horses the Netherlands Nov. 2006
It is just amazing and so beautifully done. The music is inspiring….I love it!

28 04 2007
The bad pun possibilities are endless « Bridlepath

[…] Dutch rescuers try to save trapped horses […]

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