Bravery of Young Mother Who Stayed by Her Horse’s Side For THREE HOURS After Getting Trapped in Mud! Until Rescuers Arrived.

This was the terrifying moment a brave young mother battled to keep her beloved horse calm as sea water closed in on the animal after he became trapped in mud ‘like quicksand’.

Nicole Graham, who was exhausted and covered in muck, held on to her captive horse Astro for three hours while running against the current.

As the water surged around them, the 78-stone show horse was submerged in quagmire-like mud and in danger of drowning.

Astro, age 18, unexpectedly fell into the mud as Miss Graham and her daughter were out riding in the afternoon at Geelong, south of Melbourne.

The smaller horse her daughter Paris was riding was also largely engulfed by the muck before she could yell a warning.

Miss Graham assisted her daughter and the other horse onto firmer ground after trudging through the muck on her own.

However, Astro was stuck solidly, and her attempts to release him only caused her to become more mired in the mud.

Miss Graham remained at her horse’s side while Paris hurried to their car and dialed for assistance. Fearing he wouldn’t get free before the tide came in, she bravely clutched to his neck.

Rescuers finally succeeded in removing Astro and Miss Graham from the muck after three “terrifying” hours.

The Geelong Advertiser was informed by Miss Graham, who owns more than ten horses and has a business providing equine dentistry, about how a tranquil afternoon ride had ended in fear.

She said: ‘It was terrifying. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling.

‘We went straight down and under. There was mud everywhere and every time I moved it sucked me back down. It wouldn’t let us go.’

After ensuring her daughter and her horse were safe, she returned to Astro and prayed that rescuers would arrive before the tide engulfed the horse.

‘I’ve been riding here for 20 years and have never had a drama,’ she continued. I was unaware that it was that muddy since I have never noticed any symptoms.

“I was so relieved when I saw the dust from the rescue trucks.” I was becoming too much to handle.

It was like quicksand, says fire lieutenant Roger Buckle, who was one of a group of volunteers.

A local farmer who offered a tractor and a veterinary team assisted the fire departments. The firemen tried using hoses and a winch, but neither piece of apparatus worked.

As a last option, a nearby chopper was prepared to rescue Astro from the muck.

Collective rescue efforts were successful. Astro, who had been tranquilized by veterinarian Stacey Sullivan, was hauled from the muck with the help of the farmer’s tractor with only a few moments left before the water reached him.

Lieut. Buckle complimented everyone’s efforts, especially those of Miss Sullivan, whose work in sedated Astro made it easier to pull him free. “It was a race against the tide and fortunately we won,” he said.

Astro was dehydrated, but Miss Sullivan said he had handled it well.

“A lot of horses don’t make it, and I think the chance of survival would have been much lower without the owner there,” she added.

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