THE heroics of the emergency services and the public have been praised after they rallied together to help two dramatic horse and rider related rescues just a few hours apart.

The first incident saw a horse trailer overturn on the A590 with two animals inside. It led to one trapped mare having to be cut free by the fire service on Sunday morning.

The horses had been heading to Witherslack Horse Show, at Cartmel Racecourse. A rider also had a nasty fall at the show and needed the support of the North West Air Ambulance Charity, the very charity the event was being held in aid of.

Heather Ellison had been towing her horses, Roxy and Patrick, to the show when they came around a bend and hit some standing water. It caused their Ifor Williams trailer to aquaplane. Mrs Ellison, 59, of Barrow, tried to steady the trailer but it overturned close to Arrad Foot.

The shocked family, which included Mrs Ellison’s granddaughter Katie Ellison, 13, and niece Sara Tyson, helped the horses along with other motorists. Patrick, a seven-year-old gelding, managed to get out of the trailer. But Roxy, 20, was trapped. She got to her feet, but was stuck in the metal. Other motorists and police, such as PC Michael Climpson, came to help to try and release her. Ulverston’s full time and on call fire crews attended and cut Roxy out with hydraulic equipment, while the mare patiently stood waiting.

The Ellison’s friend, Avril McKinley, had been travelling behind to go judge at the show. Mrs McKinley helped with the efforts, checking over the family and looking after a distraught Katie and her pony Patrick. Both horses were seen by Archway vets and had escaped with only cuts. The ponies stayed with Jemma Atkinson at her nearby stables until they could be taken to their own Pennington stables.

Both ponies are now well and happy at home. Mrs Ellison said: “It was so frightening. I was fighting like hell to steady it. We were petrified for the horses. Katie was distraught. Patrick got out of the roof, but Roxy was jammed in by the metal. There was a gentleman who was there from the start. He was an absolute star and others who came and stayed with us were too, like Avril, who helped Katie and Patrick. There was also the police helping us and my son, Richard, came to help.

“Roxy didn’t move, bless her. The fire service were absolutely brilliant, so kind and caring as they cut her free.We are so grateful to everyone who helped us. It could have been so much worse. The horses just have cuts, they had travel boots on which are all ripped up.”

Roger Exley, station manager at Barrow Fire Station, congratulated the Ulverston crews and those who assisted. Mr Exley said: “This incident would have been extremely challenging being a crash on the A590 and involving large animals. Firefighters are trained in large animal rescues and to work alongside the other emergency services and vets. It was great team work and a fantastic outcome. We wish them well.”

The Witherslack Horse Show was delayed due to the A590 hold ups. Not long into the show a rider had a bad fall from her horse in the warm up area. Judge, Mrs McKinley, a former paramedic of 25 years and an A&E team member, and others assisted the woman, from the Penrith area. The North West Air Ambulance Charity flew in and treated the woman, who had a suspected neck injury. She was taken to Furness General Hospital.

Jane Crowe, from the horse show team, said thankfully the rider was understood to have suffered no breaks, just bruising. Mrs Crowe said: “The North West Air Ambulance came and were brilliant, they are an invaluable service and that’s why we fundraise for them.

"The land ambulance, Avril and everyone who helped were brilliant. Everyone rallied together and we thank them all. I know the lady and her family are also very grateful.”

Mrs McKinley thanked everyone who assisted and said it had shown great community spirit and the excellent work of the emergency services.

The show went on to be success and will be raising lots of money for NWAAC and The Teenage Cancer Trust.

A North West Air Ambulance Charity spokesman said: “We would like to say thank you to everyone for their assistance and support.

"We were very sorry to hear about the incident but pleased that we were able to offer assistance. Our work is only made possible thanks to supporters.”