Firefighters rescue two horses from icy water

FORT ERIE, ON. (WIVB) – Rescuers risked their lives to save two horses who fell into the water just over the border.

When our camera arrived to the scene on College Road in Fort Erie, one o4f the horses was already out of the water and safe while firefighters were still working to help the other, which was submerged up to its neck in an icy pond.

They cleared away the ice tied a rope to the fire truck and then eased the horse up little by little until she could stand right up under her own power.

“We pulled the first one out with just firefighters. The second one was a little more tired so we attached the rope to the front of the rescue and used the rescue truck to help give a little leverage. As soon as she came out of the water she jumped up on her feet, which is a good outcome,” said Fort Erie Fire Chief Randy Reichelt.

Julie Ayres, a co-owner of the horses, said the two were out grazing, and despite this extreme winter, the pond was simply not as frozen as they thought it was.

“We would have never turned them loose if we had known. [The horses are] scared, so once we get them calmed down and warmed up, they’ll be okay,” Ayres said.

Shawn Rideout, who is also a co-owner of the animals, is grateful to all the firefighters did.

“I can’t say enough what a great job they did and they really are heroes,” he said.

Ayres added, “I can’t even believe it happened, it was just so quick and so traumatic and, I mean, we love them to death. They’re our babies and just to see them in that much danger and struggling like that and there’s nothing we could do. Thank God for our fire department, I’ll tell you because a few more minutes and I don’t think this big guy would’ve made it. Our firefighters are the best firefighters in the whole world. We owe them big time.”

Both horses are 4-years-old and are expected to make a complete recovery. One is named “General Force” and the other is “Here Comes Blue,” who won her first race last July at the Fort Erie Race Truck.

“They’re eating. The vet’s been out to check both of them. He’s happy with both of them, so we are lucky. We are lucky today,” Ayres said.

These horses get to live to race another day right at the Fort Erie Race Track, which just announced a few days ago that live racing will be returning to the track this summer. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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