One cold day in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, Wilhelm and Gunther, a pair of draft horses broke through their fence and went on an adventure
Unfortunately though, some trouble hit when the 1,500-pound horses ran right onto a frozen lake.
After a sickening crack, the ice beneath their feet broke and the pair fell into the icy lake.
The panicked horses when unable to get out, and the ice around them stopped them from swimming to shore.
A neighbor spotted them and called 911, where emergency personnel immediately responded to rescue the terrified horses.
“I saw two horse heads sticking up out of the ice. That was the only thing you saw,” said Leon Clapper, Chief of the Blue Ridge Hook & Ladder Fire Company.
“You’ve got to trench your way to get them back because of the weight there was no way we were going to pick them up, put them on the ice and slide them out in a boat.”
First responders began to dig a trench from the shore to the hole where the horses were stuck.
Word spread of the horses in trouble, and soon enough, neighbors were flocking to the disturbance to offer a helping hand.
“Some of the other neighbors were horse people so they went and got heaters, their blankets and stuff like that. It was, you know, one hell of a team effort,” said Chief Clapper.
“Most men are tough but it was very emotional when I saw them out there and just felt a little helpless,” said Milton Mosier, farm manager at Quiet Valley.
The horses seemed close to giving up, “For a moment there, we thought we were just going to have to watch them slip away and have to retrieve bodies and when we realized we could do something, and get them out of there.”
“We were gung ho just to get whatever we needed to get done to get them out of there,” Hannah said.
Finally, the horses were pulled to shore and placed under warm blankets set up by some of the local community.
Wilhelm suffered some cuts and an irritated eye, but Gunther seemed to be in good health.
“You always wonder when you get here and you’re first on the scene and you see that, if it’s going to be a tragedy,” said Chief Clapper. “And you saw the two horses walk away. It’s a good feeling.”
“Without them, we would be telling a very different story. Several of these amazing men and women needed medical care after helping Wilhelm and Gunther.”