Firefighters spent three hours freeing a one-tonne shire horse after it got its leg stuck in the ramp of its horse box near Walton Bridge last night.

The horse and its owners had been working at a wedding reception and, as the animal was loaded into its box, its leg went through the ramp, causing it to become stuck.

An animal rescue crew from Painshill fire station were called to help free the grey mare at 6.10pm but had to wait for a vet to arrive before they began the rescue.

Firefighter Alan Daly, who helped with the rescue, said: “We were there for three hours. The biggest thing was waiting for the vet; we were really struggling to get them out.

“You are only allowed to lift an animal without a vet on scene if a person is underneath it or if it is upside down because of its internal organs.”

After nearly three hours at the rescue, firefighters successfully freed the horse and walked it around a nearby field to help with its stability.

Mr Daly said: “She had a couple of nicks on her legs and the owners were very emotional but grateful for a successful rescue.”