‘Lucky’ pony rescued from Baldock swimming pool

A PONY had to be rescued by firefighters after falling into a swimming pool.

Poppy, a retired competition pony, fell into a privately owned pool next to North Herts Equitation Centre in Norton Road, Baldock, on Friday afternoon, after grazing in a garden nearby.

Firefighters had to be called in as the 30-year-old pony, who is 12 hands (48in) high, was out of her depth in the 5ft 6in deep pool, which had to be drained.

After staff at the horse riding centre held Poppy’s head out of the water for nearly two hours, the small pony was safely returned to firm ground by using straw bales as a series of stepping stones.

“She’s an old pony and she always goes in the garden to eat grass but she’d never been near the pool,” said centre manager Lorna Harris, who has had Poppy at the centre for 10 years.

“For some reason she went over and she fell in. She was quite lucky because I think the cover held her up a bit, but she couldn’t touch the bottom.

“She was just enjoying her retirement up until then. My daughter (Georgie) has had the pony since she was six so she was frantic. Poppy was just very very calm but it was still a bit nerve-wracking.”

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After letting out a neigh – thought to mean ‘thank you’ to the fire crew – and receiving treatment from Lorna’s husband Chris, who is a vet, Poppy was eating grass again within 10 minutes of being rescued and has made a full recovery.