A HORSE sparked a massive rescue operation after falling into six-foot deep septic tank.
An incredible 19 firemen were sent to retrieve Guinness after the animal took the night-MARE tumble on Wednesday evening.
The 17-year-old horse had been walking around its field at Sunnyside Farm in the Borders when a concrete slab gave way plunging him into the cavern below.
Vets who arrived on the scene confirmed that the Guinness- a former international vaulting horse- had not suffered any serious injuries.
However, Andrew Morton, farmer at the Sunnyside Farm still has some concerns over the horse’s health following what he called a “freak accident.”
He said: “His legs are pretty badly swollen but we are hoping he’ll be alright.
“We are worried about the cuts on his legs because he had been in raw sewage and they could get infected.
“I thought when I saw him in there that he had broken his back, but it’s not broken and none of his legs are broken.
“He’s very stiff and sore. It’s impossible to make a final assessment and is difficult to say if he will make a full recovery.
“He was supposed to work on Monday, but he won’t be doing that.”
Guinness is used at the Riding for Disabled centre which is situated on Sunnyside Farm, after being loaned to the company from a third party.
And Riding for Disabled must now foot the cost of the horse’s vet bill because the horse was not insured.
Andrew said: “Riding for the Disabled don’t have insurance on the horse so they will have to pay for his treatment.
“They won’t be charged for the firemen coming out, but there were two vets who were there for two hours and he was given drugs. Another vet is coming back to look at him today.”
The trouble-stricken horse was found by French student Fanny Terrier, 19, while she was working on the farm.
And Andrew was quick to praise Fanny’s alertness which ensured Guinness was not in the hole for long.
He said: “Fanny was working on the farm, driving oats up the field and heard a crack when she drove by. On the way back she saw the horse in the hole and contacted me immediately.
“He’d only been in the hole for five minutes before I got there.”
Firemen worked quickly to get the horse out of the pit, but had to work cautiously given the size of the animal.
He had to be harnessed and pulled from the tank with ropes.
Andrew said: “We had to cut away bits of concrete and metal to get in at him.
“The firemen did well rescuing him and hosing him down, because he was stinking.”
Guinness is now recovering at a stable on the farm while they continue to assess his health.
A spokesperson from Lothian Fire Service said: “We received a call at 17.44 last night about a horse that had fallen into a septic tank.
“The horse received cuts and grazes and will be monitored.”