MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Maury County horse that was sinking in a sink hole filled with mud is alive and well, thanks in no small part to a small group of rescue workers and concerned residents from Maury and Williamson counties.

The horse’s name is Skylar, or Sky for short. She’s a 10-year-old free ranging horse who lives on a Maury County farm near Santa Fe.

On Saturday, she fell in a sink hole filled with quick sand-like mud and she was going down fast.

According to Sam Hanvy, he learned of the emergency at around 1 p.m. when his soon-to-be mother-in-law called and said that Sky was missing.

Hanvy described the scene when he first arrived.

“She was not breathing very good because the mud had collapsed around her and was not letting her breathe,” he said.

Hanvy hopped into the mud with his soon-to-be father-in-law and together they got a strap under Sky’s belly to try and pull her out.

However, Hanvy said after trying to pull Sky out using their vehicle and some trackors brought to the scene by neighbors, they decided this job needed more expertise.

“We set plywood all the way around so we didn’t sink in it, and we began pulling and it was hurting the horse,” Hanvy said. “We notice the horse, every time she struggles, she sinks It is basically quick sand.”

Maury County fire crews arrived at around 2 p.m. and reported the horse was stuck up to its neck in the thick mud. Fire officials called for heavy equipment from the Maury County Highway Department to begin digging the horse out.

Simultaneously, fire crews put plywood around the horse to shore up the area, but when she kept sinking, they called rescue crews in Williamson County for help. Thankfully, Williamson County’s crews just returned last week from Savannah, Tennessee where they took a course on rescuing large animals trapped in mud.

While Williamson County was responding, Maury County fire officials set up lights and established a command center since the sun was beginning to set.

Dinah Wade works with the WCRS “When I first arrived, there were lots of people standing around, several people down in the mud with the horse trying to dig a trench around the horse to get it out, building a trench with plywood so they’d have something stable to step on; every time the horse moved, it would suck the horse further into the mud,” said Dinah Wade with the Williamson County Rescue Squad.

Wade said two team members just learned how to handle this scenario and they went to work.

“What we just learned, we were able to put into action,” Wade said.

Rescuers knew the horse had been in distress for hours and they had to get her out. A veterinarian was called in and the animal was sedated. That’s when crews hoisted the animal out of the mud pit.

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Hanvy said what began around noon finally ended at around 9 or 10 p.m.

“Everyone was just a nervous wreck. Just think if you was in that position what would you do, so
that horse had a lot of people rooting for her that day, and I guess to describe how I was feeling, I guess an adrenaline rush and I guess everybody was about the same,” Hanvy said.

According to Hanvy, Skylar was communicating with the other horses when she finally got back to the barn. He said she walked there herself.

As of this writing, Skylar is all cleaned up and doing well.