Firefighters race to rescue two Clydesdale horses after they fall through ice

It’s always inspiring to see people go out of their way to save animals in need.

That’s what happened when two Clydesdales got helplessly trapped in icy water before a team of local firefighters came to their rescue.

In February 2019, the two horses, Gunther and Wilhelm, got loose from their farm near Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The horses then wandered onto some ice and fell through into the icy water.


The local fire department was called to rescue the Clydesdales, but the operation proved tricky, with no easy way to carry the heavy animals out of the water.

“There was no way we were gonna pick them up, put them on the ice, and slide them out on a boat,” Chief Leon Clapper of the Blue Ridge Hook & Ladder Fire Company told WNEP.


But the crew soon found a solution to get the horses to safety. Using chainsaws, they were able to build a trench in the ice and walk the horses to safety.


Once the Clydesdales were on land, veterinarians were there to dry them off. The horses were shaking from the cold, according to neighbors who watched the scene unfold.

“He was just shaking and shaking and shaking, and his legs were just frozen, so they were bending his legs, moving his legs,” recalled neighbor Arlene Reading.

“Never in 54 years has this ever happened. We’ve never had an animal or a human lost in the lake, so this is a first.”

The horses then returned to their home at Quiet Valley Farms, where everyone was incredibly relieved to have them back and they’ve been making a steady recovery.

It was a fantastic rescue in many ways. In fact, the whole town came out to help and they brought blankets, heaters, and even a boat.

“With the dedication of Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder, Stroud Township Fire Company, Shawnee Fire Company, Wind Gap Fire Company, Northeast Search and Rescue, Portland PA Fire Company, Cross River Veterinarians, Quiet Valley Staff and Volunteers, and countless neighbors lending boats and towels the horses were rescued,” posted the farm.

“Bless their hearts, they’re good strong horses. That was definitely something in their favor,” Deborah DiPasquale from the farm told WNEP.

“It was good to see they had a good appetite and have them both on their feet. That’s always an important sign for a horse.”

According to Facebook updates, the horses have continued to get proper veterinary treatments. But while they’re both back on their feet, the farm will be making sure they don’t get into any more trouble.

“They are grounded for the foreseeable future: no after hours romps, girlfriends, cell phones, etc,” the farm joked.

Facebook / Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm

Thank you to these quick-thinking firefighters for bringing these horses to safety! We’re glad to hear they’re recovering and doing well!

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