Horse rescued from swimming pool

A horse that fell into a residential swimming pool early Wednesday afternoon in Forest Lake is now safe following a successful rescue effort by Forest Lake Fire & Rescue and a veterinarian from Sunrise Equine Veterinarian Service, North Branch.

Forest Lake police and fire personnel were called to the Tim McKenzie home, 8155 N. 210th St., after the horse became trapped in the pool’s three feet of water. The pool was not in service and was covered when the horse strayed over the pool cover and fell in at 12:50 p.m.

The animal was one of four horses that had broken free from their pasture at a neighboring home in the morning, police said. The four horses were in the McKenzie yard for most of the morning.

While fire personnel and workers from Dan’s Towing led the efforts to determine how to free the horse, Dr. Kirsten Frederickson of Sunrise Equine monitored the medical condition of the mare, believed to weigh in the area of 1000 pounds.

The rescue team positioned the fire department’s aerial ladder truck at the side of the pool and used straps from Dan’s Towing to create a swing. Once the straps were in place and the horse was sedated by Dr. Frederickson, the animal was lifted to safety.

The vet said the animal appeared to be OK and unharmed from its near three-hour stay in the pool. The three other horses were tied to a nearby tree during the ordeal.

As of late afternoon, Police Sgt. Mark Richert had made contact with the owner of the animals and was making arrangements to return them.