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Horse pinned under fallen tree after Florida storms saved by fire rescue

Alachua County Fire Rescue crew members stand with a 14-year-old Friesian horse named Sietske they rescued after it was pinned under a fallen oak tree near Gainesville, Florida, on April 19, 2019.
Alachua County Fire Rescue crew members stand with a 14-year-old Friesian horse named Sietske they rescued after it was pinned under a fallen oak tree near Gainesville, Florida, on April 19, 2019. Facebook

Fire Rescue has to do a lot of unusual things.

And in Florida, often that involves animals caught where they ought not be.

On Friday, as wicked storms tore across the state, Miami Fire Rescue came upon a 300-pound, 11-foot alligator that took over a residential neighborhood.

In Alachua County, near Gainesville, fire rescue units were similarly hustling as storms caused damage to several homes, downed power lines — and knocked down an oak tree.

Except a horse happened to be standing by this particular oak tree.

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Alachua County Fire Rescue cut through limbs of a fallen oak tree to rescue a horse that got pinned underneath after storms toppled the tree on April 19, 2019. Alachua County Fire Rescue Facebook

“Another victim of a falling tree was a sweet, 14-year-old Friesian horse named Sietske, who happened to be under a giant oak tree when it came down, pinning her significantly,” Alachua County Fire Rescue posted on Facebook.

“She was just looking for her hay but wound up getting caught in the mayhem of Friday’s storm,” WCJB ABC 20 said as the lead-in to its newscast.



Crews worked into the afternoon to remove large limbs and debris from atop the wet, black horse. Eventually, more and more of the animal’s body became visible.

Once extricated, the horse was led away from the bundle of fallen limbs and brush and was photographed standing next to some of the fire rescue crew.

Was she smiling? You be the judge.

Alachua horse groun_fitted.jpeg
Alachua County Fire Rescue crew begin to extricate a downed horse who happened to be standing near an oak tree that was blown over in storms in the Florida county on April 19, 2019. Alachua County Fire Rescue Facebook

By Friday night, Sietske was “resting comfortably” in the care of a veterinarian, according to the fire rescue department.

“There are no words to express my gratitude for all of our first responders. Thank You for all you do! Bless you. I know the horse owner(s) and that horse are grateful as well,” said one of the 108 people who commented on the department’s Facebook post.

“As we like to say, we are always ready to respond to any and all of life’s emergencies,” the Alachau Fire Rescue department said.

Miami Herald Real Time/Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 Media Excellence Awards winner, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, municipal government and general assignment. He started his career in the Features department at the Miami Herald in 1991.
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