How Sonic was pulled free from ‘tricky’ spot

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An escaped horse was saved after firefighters battled to free the distressed animal in a dramatic two-hour rescue.

Eighteen-year-old Sonic, suffered a deep wound to his leg after becoming trapped in a stream between a bank and a tree on the Nutbrook Trail in Ilkeston on Tuesday.

He had escaped his field after vandals broke the fencing surrounding it.

Sonic’s owner, Holly Leatherland, told the Advertiser: “Every time we come down here something has been damaged or broken.

“He would never have got out or got stuck if the fence hadn’t been broken by vandals and this wouldn’t have happened.”

Holly stood and watched nervously as crews from Ilkeston fire station, a specialist animal rescue unit and a vet battled to free the animal.

Other horse owners who keep their animals in the fields along the stretch of the trail near to the Bulls Head Pub had gathered to watch the drama unfold.

Laura Fletcher, who keeps Bella and Beauty in a neighbouring field, said: “We’ve been in touch with the police about this a few times.

“I got here one day to find that my two horses were tied together. If one had pulled it would have broken the others leg and I would have had to have her put down.

“The horses have been getting out and running on the path and equipment has been stolen from the fields.

“We’ve told the police and they’ve done nothing.

“As long as the fences keep getting broken there’s not a lot we can do.

“You dread coming down here in the mornings, you don’t know what you might find.”

Holly added: “Who knows what might have happened today?

“I don’t understand why someone would want to hurt an innocent animal. “

A spokesman for Derbyshire Police confirmed that they have received calls about horses escaping on the Nutbrook Trail.

He added: “We take all calls seriously and urge members of the public who see anything suspicious or a crime in progress to call us.

“We have had reports of incidents involving horses on the Nutbrook Trail and they have been logged.”

The vet involved in the rescue said the wound on Sonic’s leg could not be stitched because of the amount of mud he was covered in.