A horse and rider fell into a ravine on Friday after an Angeles National Forest trail gave way under them, and local veterinarian Dr. Rachael Sachar was called by Los Angeles County Fire to help with the rescue.
Dr. Rachael Sachar of the mobile Twin Oaks Equine Veterinary Services often makes house calls, but it’s not often that a call will take her to a ravine in the Angeles National Forest.
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The local veterinarian was asked by the Los Angeles County Fire Department on Friday to assist in rescuing a horse and rider who had fallen more than 150 feet below the trail.
Fire personnel responded near the intersection of Santa Clara Truck Trail and North Fork Saddle Trek Trail a 11:45 a.m. Friday morning.
The victim had been horseback riding with her husband, but the trail gave way under her and her horse, Sachar said.
The woman fell 150 feet into a ravine and suffered minor injuries. Her horse fell another 50 feet and was pinned upside down, said Inspector Keith Mora with L.A. County Fire.
It wasn’t the first time that the county had called Sachar for help.
They asked if she had her dart gun available, in case the rescue workers needed to tranquilize the horse from a distance, Sachar said.
Rescue workers picked Sachar up at the Hansen Dam Equestrian Center in Sylmar and took her by helicopter to the site.
Once there, they rappelled into the ravine, where the husband of the female victim was waiting with her horse.
Ensuring that the horse made it out of the ravine without hurting itself or anyone else was all about timing, Sachar said.
“If it wasn’t for our firefighters and rescue workers getting there in a timely manner with all their equipment and knowledge, I don’t think that horse would have made it out of there,” she said.
The horse had received multiple injuries, Sachar said, but was relatively calm as firefighters strapped it into a harness, despite the loud helicopter hovering above and creating a windstorm in the ravine.
“If the horse had started getting excitable, he would have injured himself as well as the people around him,” she said.
Sachar tranquilized the horse heavily before the helicopter pulled it out of the ravine to safety.
Despite the ordeal and a several-hour rescue operation, horse and rider will be fine.
The female victim, who was airlifted out of the area before Sachar arrived, suffered a broken leg.
Sachar has not been involved in any of the horse’s follow-up care because it’s owners don’t live in the area, but “the horse is recovering very well,” she said. “…he’s still expected to make a full recovery.”
Sachar started her own practice in the Santa Clarita Valley two years ago. She takes her mobile clinic directly to her clients and operates a small administrative office on Bouquet Canyon Road near Cinema Drive.
Helping the Fire Department with their rescue operation was a “great experience,” she said, and she was thrilled with the outcome.
For more information about Rachael Sachar an Twin Oaks Equine Veterinary Services, click here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News