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A horse rescue gets national attention

PITTSFORD Sue Musial wasnt home when her beloved 26-year-old Appaloosa-Trakehner horse, named Kyrie, fell into an old spring late in the afternoon May 5. By the time Musial arrived home at the Other Side Farm on West Creek Road in Pittsford after working the day shift as a respiratory therapist at Rutland Regional Medical Center a group of fire-rescue personnel, neighbors, and news reporters were on hand. Most of the hard work was completed when Kyrie was finally pulled slowly out of the spring by a bucket loader around 8:15 p.m. It was clear and the stars were out, said Musial. I was relieved to see Kyrie freed. After some healing, she will be able to roam in her pasture again. Musial was the last to know about Kyries travails. The news spread quickly and it spread nationally, she said. A Burlington-based Fox News television crew filed a report and the story was quickly picked up by the cable-based network in New Yorkjust in time for the evening news. Wire stories carried the news to major American newspapers by the following morning. I cant believe how many people care about what happened to Kyrie, Musial said. So many good people continue to help; it is all so wonderful. Musial said a passing driver first noticed the horse struggling in a swampy area just below the grade of West Creek Road on the Other Side Farm. He used a mobile telephone to call 911 and local firefighters responded quickly. According to reports, the horse had stepped into the old springhole which is surrounded by muddy, grass-obscured ground. The former site of a springhouse dates back to the 1800s when the property was a working farm. Pittford firefighters rescued the big animal using an improvised firehose-as-a-sling. Neighbor Debbie Hathaway dispatched her bucket loader and it became a vital piece of rescue equipment; it ultimately helped personnel to save the horse. Pittsford Fire Chief Thomas Hooker was among the first rescuers on the scene. After the Fox News report aired, Hookers firehouse received several telephone calls from out-of-state fire-rescue professionals mostly located in the western U.S.. The callers were interested to learn more about the technical details of how Kyrie was pulled to safety. Kyrie is healing now with a bandaged leg (tendon damage) and a bruised belly. Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Hickman of Clarendon has been carefully administering to Kyrie to help get the animal back to normal. At the scene, Kyrie received antibiotics as well as warming blankets to stave off hypothermia. Immediately following the rescue, Musial capped the old spring with a strong wooden structure to avoid a similar mishap. She wished she had done it earlier, but never considered it to be a hazard. A few days after the incident, Dr. Hickman called Musial and passed along more good news a fellow horse lover, Courtney Sheehey of Rutland, had graciously donated time for Kyrie to receive individualized therapy at a C-Horse spa in Vermont. There, Kyrie will be boarded to get some equine-style pampering and healing hydrotherapy. Then, when fully healed, Kyrie will join Sue Musials extended family of horses King, Khrome and Sizzle as well as several happy dogs, to again graze on the sweet-green pastureland of the Other Side Farm. You can contribute to the Kyrie Fund to help speed the horses recovery. For details, call Dr. Lisa Hickman in Clarendon at 802-775-4333.

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