Horse Is Rescued From Falling Into a Utility Vault After Pitstop at Taco Bell
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
Apparently, it’s not all that uncommon for a cowboy and his horse to walk into a Taco Bell. But what happened to a trainer and his horse named Cabanero after their Taco Bell pitstop was entirely a different story.
On April 1, Carlos Garcia and his 6-year-old horse were walking along when a utility vault cover suddenly collapsed beneath them in Riverside, California. They went tumbling down into the hole that was about five by 10 feet wide and five feet deep. While horses are a common sight in certain neighborhoods, this community is not one of them. “I don’t think it was designed — or anyone would’ve expected — that a horse would be walking there, in that part of the city,” Fire Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie told The Press Enterprise. Firefighters from Riverside Fire Department Station 3 were initially called, but when they saw the animal neck-deep in the hole, HART (Horse & Animal Rescue Team) was summoned to the rescue. HART is composed of members of the Fire Department’s Tactical Rescue Team, an on-call veterinarian and officers from the Riverside Police Department’s mounted unit. A crane was requested to assist rescue personnel with extricating the horse — who was believed to weigh 1,500 pounds. There were also sharp pieces of the vault cover that had fallen into the hole, according to Firefighter Bryan Hoffman who was on the scene. Firefighters wrapped a hose around its belly – but before beginning their dramatic rescue, they waited for the vet to arrive to give the horse a sedative. With the assistance of firefighters and Garcia, Cabanero struggled to bolt out of the hole — albeit unsuccessfully — until finally he jumped out of the hole on his own over an hour after falling into the vault. The traumatized horse had to be gently coaxed into his trailer by Garcia. A veterinarian examined Cabanero and determined his only injuries were lacerations on both legs that should heal. The outcome could’ve been much worse if not for Cabanero’s calm demeanor. “Any other horse would’ve gone spookier and done a lot more mistakes in there,” Garcia told NBC. “He just kept his calm.”