Nicole Graham thought she was going for another one of her regular leisurely horse rides along the beach. With her daughter in tow, Nicole suddenly found herself in the midst of a nightmare. Her horse Astro unexpectedly ventured into treacherous mud, and to make matters worse, he was followed by her daughter’s horse.
Fortunately, Nicole got herself, her daughter, and her daughter’s smaller horse free, but Astro remained firmly stuck in the mud.
Nicole clung to Astro for 3 hours as he struggled to break free of the mud.
The more Astro struggled, the more stuck he became. Trying to help her horse only resulted in Nicole becoming stuck again.
Rescuers helped Nicole out of the mud, but could not budge Astro, who weighs at over 1,000 lbs.
The clock was racing — they only had a few hours before the tide would come in and drown Astro.
Lots of people came to his aid: fighter fighters, veterinarians and a nearby farmer, who loaned his tractor.
Astro was sedated so that he would sleep during the rescue efforts.
Several different types of equipment were used but nothing worked.
Fire lieutenant Roger Buckle said the mud was “like quicksand.”
Everyone was anxious as the tide drew in. Time was ticking fast.
Lady luck finally paid a visit and Astro was freed. Phew!
The tractor really came in handy.
Once he was out of the danger zone, Astro collapsed in a heap — he was so exhausted by his ordeal.
After a much deserved rest, everyone was cleaned up. Home time!
Miraculously, Astro only suffered mild dehydration and is making a full recovery.
Nicole runs an equine dentistry business, and as such has a deep love of horses — she personally owns around 10. In the two decades she’s been a horse owner, she’s never had such any issues on the beach. We are just relieved that everyone is safe.