The handler of a rescued horse has praised the compassionate and professional attitude of all involved in the operation to save him.

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Christine Brindle, who looks after Dougie, a 23-year-old shire-cross, said she was “blown away” by the actions of the firefighters and vet who came to the horse’s rescue in Hadleigh on Saturday.

“They were just amazing,” she said.

“At all stages of Dougie’s rescue the fire brigade were so compassionate and caring it was if they were dealing with a person rather than an animal.”

The 750kg beast had been discovered in his stables on Saturday morning distressed and unable to stand.

Christine, with the assistance of Clinton Float, a partner at Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic, tried helping Dougie to his feet but grew increasingly worried about his chances.

“He was so exhausted and tired he had nothing left to give,” said Christine.

“He was twitching, his eyes were rolling back, his breathing was laboured and shallow and when Clinton checked his heart rate he had developed a murmur.

“We thought that was the end, I went over to Dougie, burst into tears and said I’m really sorry mate there’s nothing left we can do, this is the end.

“But blow me, that horse sat up and said no you’re not, I’m not ready to yet, where’s my food and started to eat.”

At that point, the firefighters were called, and after several unsuccessful attempts to right Dougie using airbags a specialist winch hauled him into an upright position, where he remained.

Dougie has made a full recovery and was yesterday standing happily in his field, much to the relief of Christine, his owner Liz Tolland and the stable owners Virginia and Martin Wright.

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