On 20 April 2018, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called out to an address in Piddinghoe near Newhaven following reports of three ponies in need of help.
The RSPCA has now recognised their efforts with a special presentation at Seaford.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Incident Commander Tony McCord explains:
“We assisted the RSPCA, Police and horse sanctuary along with the Technical Rescue Unit team from West Sussex FRS.
The ponies had not had any human contact and been neglected for an extended period of time and were in desperate need of care, one of them being in foal.
The Police had a warrant to seize the ponies.
The issue was that capture pens needed to be carried on to the site across terrain which did not have vehicular access and then be erected.
Then as a team we all helped round up the ponies into the pens so they could be sedated, inspected and then put into horse boxes for transporting to the sanctuary.
All in all the operation took about 5 hours."
RSPCA chief inspector Patrick Hamby said: "The RSPCA works very closely with the emergency services and we are always incredibly grateful for any help we receive from them.
"This was a multi-agency job and the help of both East Sussex and West Sussex Fire Services, as well as the police and World Horse Welfare were vital in ensuring that we could rescue the horses from poor conditions.
"We wanted to officially thank the fire services for their efforts and recognise their support and hard work."
The good news is that all the ponies are doing well, with the foal being born and much better with human contact.