Riverside Fire Department personnel with the trapped horse. Photo by Riverside Fire Department retired Capt. Bob Markin.
Riverside Fire Department personnel with the trapped horse. Photo by Riverside Fire Department retired Capt. Bob Markin.

A horse with a Western saddle fell about six feet into an underground vault on a Riverside sidewalk and was rescued by firefighters in a dramatic effort broadcast live on local television.

It happened at 9:50 p.m. Saturday at Arlington and Phoenix avenues, said Riverside Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Staley.

The Horse Animal Rescue Team responded, had placed thick straps around the horse and waited for a crane to lift him out when the horse started kicking his way out of the vault and was pulled to safety with rescuer assistance, Staley said.

He was out at 10:15 p.m.

A veterinarian at the scene examined the horse and determined his only injuries were lacerations on both legs that should heal, the battalion chief said.

The vault was covered by a metal grate that appeared to give way under the weight of the horse that was being walked on the sidewalk with another horse, Staley said.

The fall was about six feet.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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