PHOTOS: Incredible images of horse rescue in Chester Co.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

THORNBURY TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- A photographer on the scene of a horse rescue in Chester County shared the images with Action News on Thursday.

The images show the hard work from dozens of rescuers to free the animal at Thornbury Farms the day before.

Also Thursday, Action News caught up with the 1,700 Clydesdale, named Cyrus, who seemed to be back to his old self.

When asked what she thought Cyrus would say, Dr. Jill Acland of Unionville Equine and Associates said "'I think he would say thank you. Thank you to everybody that helped him get out that mud yesterday. Thank you for finding me.'"

Thanks to a bath and some much needed pampering, he looks like a million bucks, but there were plenty of worries during his rescue.

Dr. Elysia Schaefer said she was wondering, "'Is this horse going to make it? Is he going to be able to stand after all this, how weak did he make himself being down in that mud all day?'"

Despite the horrifying and stressful ordeal, Cyrus is recovering nicely. Doctors continue to keep a close eye on him but say he didn't have any broken bones or major injures. His owner say the incident happened when a big horse spooked Cyrus and while running away, he got stuck in the mud.

"The biggest concern for was that he had inhaled some of the muddy water into his lungs. He had a lot of mud in his nostrils. We were worried about his lungs and pneumonia," said Dr. Acland.

For the next few days, there will be more pampering and medication and then Cyrus will return home. And yes, he will be separated from the so called "bully horse" who chased him in the mud! It's a happy ending to this horse tale.

"We are hoping to get him home by the weekend to be with his family again. It can be stressful being in the hospital so the sooner you can get him back home the better," said Dr. Schaefer.

Rescuers had to use a crane to rescue Cyrus.

They knew it was going to be a delicate operation and started first by sedating the horse.

"One of the most delicate parts of a horse's body are its legs; we were using heavy equipment with a lot of power behind it, if you pull too hard you risk injuring the horse's lower limbs, if not breaking them," Acland said on Wednesday.

Action News reporter Sarah Bloomquist was live on Facebook as the horse was freed:

Cyrus was discovered missing around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The farm manager found him deep in the mud unable to move.

Crews trained in trench rescues used special equipment to disperse the mud and relieve the suction.

They freed Cyrus' legs and gave him saline and other medication to keep him comfortable.

Then, using a crane, he was carefully lifted up and out of the mud to safety on the other side of the pond.

"I lost it. That was horrible to watch. I was really scared for him. I've been really emotional all day," Parker said.

Cyrus was rescued at auction about eight weeks ago and came to live temporarily at Thornbury Farms until he goes on to his new owners in Virginia.

He's at least 18 years old and likely spent his entire life working the fields on a farm.