LOUISVILLE, Tenn. -- Blount County firefighters safely pulled a blind rescue horse from a 20-foot sinkhole Sunday.
The horse, named Star, was stuck in the sinkhole for several hours off Quarry Road in Louisville. Veterinarians said as far as they can tell, she will not have any long-term injuries.
"Took a little while to do, but it looks like right now she's gonna be fine," said Doug McClanahan, fire chief of the Blount County Fire Department.
He said crews used a special rescue strap from UT Veterinary School to pull Star out of the sinkhole. Blount County firefighters also sedated her in order to get her out.
"It's crazy," said Star's co-owner Jack Estep. "I'm just glad she's out, I just hope she's fine and we'll just go from there."
He said Star was with a herd earlier Sunday, but did not come back with the other horses. Estep said a tree fell over on the property during a recent rain-event, and tore down part of the fence. He found that damage on Sunday when he went looking for Star. He said he did not know about the sinkhole.
Jack and Jennifer Estep found Star on Craigslist four months ago. They rescued Star from a woman who couldn't take care of her because she is blind. Rescuers said that, while Star's handicap may have been a factor in her fall, it did not challenge them in saving her.
Sunday night the Esteps said Star was in stable condition at Country Side Vet Service's intensive care unit and would be recovering there for three to four more days.
On Monday, they visited Star and took her outside for a walk. They said they really appreciate Fire Chief Doug McClanahan and the rest of the Blount County Fire Department for rescuing their horse. They said they would like to thank Country Side Vet Service, UT Vet Service and everyone who was involved in the rescue as well.