Horse trapped in ice rescued in Oxford

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Neighbors worked to keep Eli warm and calm while they waited for assistance.

Oxford community members came together Friday to help a horse trapped in ice while waiting for emergency responders.

Oxford Fire Department received a call at 7:30 p.m. on reports of a horse stuck in a ditch near North Coats Road. The department said they weren't "horsing around."

The Oakland County Sheriff's Office Deputies were called for assistance and "it was quickly discovered this was serious for a horse named Eli."

Eli wandered outside his pasture, slipped in a creek and was on his side with one leg trapped under the ice. He was suffering from hypothermia, Oxford Fire Department said in a Facebook post.

Neighbors gave up their coats in 10 degrees to wrap Eli.

Deputies and firefighters entered the frozen water with tow straps in an attempt to move Eli and get him to his feet.

"We were able to move and free him from the ice, but Eli could not get up," the department wrote. "Still on the frozen creek and down a steep embankment it was tough getting footing for the first responders. Desperation was setting in and then something great started to happen, Oxford Community responded."

Oxford High School sophomore and neighbor Paige was a big part of the rescue, department officials said.

Officials said neighbors arrived with blankets, food and a skid steer. Pan Equus Animal Sanctuary also arrived confirming the horse was in dire need.

With some equipment and lots of pushing, they were able to rescue Eli, push him out of the creek and get him up on all fours.

"Paige our teenage horse whisperer kept him calm and provided him with emotional support," the department said. "With some feed rescuers were able to walk him back to the barn for some warming. These neighbors simply responded from a knock on their door and came out into the cold without hesitation. Amazing! We are so proud to serve this community."
Twitter: @SarahRahal_