Pony saved from drowning in Burnley river

A brave animal welfare officer has been hailed a “hero” after plunging into a fast-flowing, icy Burnley river to save a horse from drowing.

Thursday, 30th January 2014, 7:12 am
Juno with his rescue team who helped to pull him out of a river.

Dave McCormick, who works for Burnley’s Horse and Pony Protection Association, dived into the River Calder to help rescue four-year-old Juno who fell into the water after banking collapsed due to heavy rain at Royle Equestrian Centre on Sunday.

Dave and a group of 10 rescuers worked for 45 minutes to get the horse out of the freezing river.

In a last-ditch bid to save the pony, Dave dived neck-deep into the river to guide the animal to safety.

Juno with his rescue team who helped to pull him out of a river.

Amanda Fitton, who owns Juno, said: “Dave was incredibly brave. Looking back, everyone put themselves in a lot of danger – but they didn’t think, they just acted.”

HAPPA officer Dave played down his role, saying: “I was just in the right place at the right time. It was a real team effort from everybody.”

There’s more on this great rescue story in Friday’s Express!