Two Clydesdale horses named Gunther and Wilhelm, who had escaped from Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, were rescued from a frozen lake. The 15-year-old horses had run across Pine Grove Lake, near Hamilton Township, which was less than a mile from the farm, when the ice gave way. Rescue crews led by the Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder Fire Company used a boat and chainsaws to cut a trench through the ice to the shore, safely leading the animals back to the farm.
“There was no way we were gonna pick them up, put them on the ice, and slide them out on a boat,” Chief Leon Clapper of the Blue Ridge Hook & Ladder Fire Company told WNEP.
Nevertheless, the rescuers found a way to pull the horse to safety, in a nick of time. Rescue crews used chainsaws to create a trench in the ice and guide the horses, Gunther and Wilhelm, to safety. Veterinarians were on hand to dry off the 15-year-old Clydesdales, who were visibly shaking from the cold, as reported by witnesses.
“He was just shaking and shaking and shaking, and his legs were just frozen, so they were bending his legs, moving his legs,” said one of the rescuers. “Never in 54 years has this ever happened. We’ve never had an animal or a human lost in the lake, so this is a first.”
After being safely rescued from the frozen lake, Gunther and Wilhelm were returned to their home at Quiet Valley Farms. The community rallied around the effort, providing blankets, heaters, and even a boat to aid in the rescue. The horses are now recovering well and their owners are relieved to have them back home.
“Some of the other neighbors were horse people so they went and got heaters, their blankets and stuff like that,” Chief Clapper told WCJB news. “It was, you know, one hell of a team effort.”
Taking Facebook, the farm wanted to thank everyone involved in the dramatic rescue.
“With the dedication of Blue Ridge Hook and Ladder, Stroud Township Fire Company, Shawnee Fire Company, Wind Gap Fire Company, Northeast Search and Rescue, Portland PA Fire Company, Cross River Veterinarians, Quiet Valley Staff and Volunteers, and countless neighbors lending boats and towels the horses were rescued,” the post reads.
You can watch the dramatic rescue here