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Luck be a lady

Submitted Photo/Judy BrodlandFrom left, Jody Whitman, backhoe operator John Parrington, Jeff Parrington, Rob Parrington and two unidentified men in the back help pull Lady from the mud.Submitted Photo/Judy BrodlandFrom left, Jody Whitman, backhoe operator John Parrington, Jeff Parrington, Rob Parrington and two unidentified men in the back help pull Lady from the mud.
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A pregnant Lady is at home resting from fatigue after being trapped in a mud hole.On Tuesday, May 23, Lady – a 2,000-pound Shire draft mare – was rescued from a muddy section of a pasture she was grazing in between Silt and Rifle. Although Lady is two months pregnant and was trapped up to her chest in the mud, she and the baby are making a full recovery.”This poor animal, she just looked at us saying, ‘Just get me out of here,'” said Judy Brodland, who helped with the rescue. Brodland is barn manager of Tally Ho Shires, where Lady lives. “As she struggled, she dug herself deeper in the mudhole.”No one knows exactly how long Lady was stuck – Brodland guesses it was about an hour. Heavy rains the night before, along with nearby construction, left part of the ground unstable in areas. “Soil disturbance mixed with water is a recipe for disaster,” said Brodland, a former editor of the American Shire Horse Association. Brodland said Lady must have tried to cross an unstable ditch bank when she began to sink. Her draft horse pasture mate, Abby, looked on, unable to help.”The horses were fine at 7:30 a.m. It happened sometime between 7:30 and 9 a.m.,” Brodland said. “It was a muddy wet mess, and she’s a very, very heavy draft horse.”As Lady attempted to escape from the hole, she created a suction. She was nearly up to her neck in mud before Jody Whitman discovered her. “I was reading gas meters – I work for XCel Energy out of Rifle – and I drove by and saw that Lady wasn’t just lying down,” Whitman said. “She was stuck up to mid-chest in the mud.”Whitman acted quickly, going to the home of Lady’s owner, Kim Murchison. No one was home, so she knocked on the door of an apartment on the property.Brodland, who also owns draft horses on the farm, answered. Then she rushed to find help.”I called John (Parrington) because I was so afraid she would flip over,” Brodland said. “Jody and I were thinking that if she flips over, she’ll drown.”In about six to seven minutes, John, Jeff and Rob Parrington, of Tally Ho Construction, and two neighbors used a backhoe and canvas belt to pull Lady free. Whitman and Brodland also joined in the physical rescue effort.”In the time we were waiting for the backhoe to get there, Lady was so exhausted that she laid over on her side twice,” Whitman said. “I stayed and helped Lady get out of the mud. I was excited that I was able to help save her. I was glad that in my daily routine of reading meters I got a chance to save her. Hopefully she’s doing great these days.”These days Lady, a Wisconsin native, is spending time in a special pasture with the mini ponies and a blind shire named Bruiser.”She’s in with them so we can keep a close eye on her,” Brodland said. “Lady is doing well, and we are spoiling her.”Brodland is still a little shaken by the incident. But she said during the rescue she knew Lady would have the luck to walk away unscathed. “Lady is about 2,000 pounds … no easy feat to pull her from that situation,” she said. “It was so scary – somehow she knew, as they always do, that people were there to help her. These Shire draft horses are so wonderful.”Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com

The Shire horse was developed in England, and its history dates back to the days of the Roman Conquest. Source: American Shire Horse Association


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