Horse rescued from deep ditch in SW Miami-Dade

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami-Dade Fire Rescue rescued a horse that slipped into a deep ditch, off a road, in Southwest Miami-Dade.

According to rescuers, a man was riding the 15-year-old horse, named Castigo, Tuesday morning, along Southwest 168th Street and 199th Avenue.

Suddenly, a car drove by at a high speed, spooking the horse, causing it to jump to the side and consequently fall into a deep ditch, which was hidden underneath weeds and vegetation.

The ditch was so deep, you could barely see the horse’s head from above.

The man riding Castigo was not injured and was able to climb off the horse and onto land. “Everything’s good, everything’s good,” said horse rider Bienvenido, through a translator.

Once the MDFR tactical unit arrived, they blindfolded Castigo in order to calm him down before initiating their rescue.

Officials said this isn’t their typical call, but they had the gear to get the horse out.

“We’ve got some special equipment on the trucks and the trailers that are behind me, which we can use to shimmy a strap or two underneath the horse,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Jack Swerdloff, “and then we need a high angle so that we can gently lift the horse out and do that without harm.”

Crews used ropes and a strong sling, the tactical team was able to raise the horse up onto land, at around 10:45 a.m.

MDFR provided a video of the rescue, showing just how stuck Castigo was.

The horse, officials said, was blindfolded so he wouldn’t be frightened. The horse was not injured.

“On a call like this, it’s nice, because our veterinarian is on call, and he actually arrived before any of the operations units did,” said one of the MDFR members on the scene, “so he was able to assess the scene, and then the first crews started to arrive, so they could assist him with that.”

Once on land, the horse was greeted by its owner and escorted back home.

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