Craig Fire/Rescue crew saves horse from ice |

Craig Fire/Rescue crew saves horse from ice

Joshua Roberts

A five-man Craig Fire/Rescue crew responded Monday morning to an unusual call – a request to rescue a trapped horse that had fallen through ice in a creek bed.

The call came in about 7:16 a.m. from a ranch on Moffat County Road 29. There, firefighters found a 15-year-old male horse stuck in Elkhead Creek.

“(Water) was halfway up the horse,” Capt. Dennis Jones said.

After about 45 minutes, firefighters were able to free the animal from the water and ice. Jones said he was relieved the rescue didn’t take any longer – for the animal’s sake.

“It was nip and tuck there for a while,” Jones said. “He laid down in the water a couple of times like he was done.”

The creek runs through the ranch property, Jones said. The captain speculated that the horse got too close to the edge of the creek. The ground gave underneath, causing the animal to fall in.

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It is unknown how long the horse was in the water.

Veterinarian Kelly Hepworth, owner of Bear Creek Animal Hospital in Craig, was at the site Monday morning.

He said the horse had mild hypothermia, an abrasion on his leg and bumped his mouth. All in all, Hepworth said, the injuries relatively were minor.

Once the horse was released, he was dried, blanketed and treated with anti-inflammatory, anti-biotics and ointment.

“When I left, he was doing fine,” Hepworth said. “He was eating and pretty happy.”

The call – an animal trapped in ice – was a first for Hepworth, and rare for Jones, as well.

“We’ve had a few like that in my career,” he said Monday morning. “They don’t happen very often.”

Joshua Roberts can be reached at 875-1791, or