Published: 16:57, 14 July 2010
| Updated: 17:11, 14 July 2010
This is the harrowing moment emergency services battled to save a doomed horse today.
Stuck in the mud at Greatstone beach, the stricken beast couldn't be pulled to safety - and eventually had to be put down.
Three young riders had been riding their horses along the coastline when one of the animals fell into a patch of dark muddy sand at about 8am on Wednesday.
Onlookers called the fire service, which sent crews from Folkestone, New Romney and the animal rescue unit from Faversham.
The coastguard’s mud rescue team from Dungeness was also on the scene.
Witness Brian Cook, 69, who was walking his two dogs, saw the drama unfold.
He said: “I was just walking along and I could here the horse riders galloping along when one just went down a hole and the rider went tumbling off.”
Another dog walker added: “There were three girls galloping on horses and one of them just suddenly made an almighty splash and there it was.
“The rider got up and they were trying to get the horse out but every time it tried to stand up it just slipped over again.”
After battling for almost three hours to rescue the horse, firefighters were eventually able to haul it on to dry sand using a winch system.
A vet from New Romney found it had a broken leg and the decision was made to put it down.