Multiple agencies assist with rescue of Plant City horse stuck in mud


PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – When we first met Kiersa the horse, she was busy – very busy. Her time was clearly occupied.

This gentle creature, who just survived a brush with death, was devouring the grass in front of her. 

As we talked with one of the heroes from RVR Horse Rescue about her story of survival, Kiersa would lift her head from time to time, look up at us, and pause. She seemed only mildly interested, and then she went back to filling her belly after a harrowing 24 hours.

Kiersa came close to not making it. At roughly 20-years-old, she enjoys a happy, leisurely life in Plant City with her family. She roams a vast pasture with plenty to eat and lots of love.

Monday night, her sense of adventure got the better of her, as she managed to break free from her pen. As she ran through the rural landscape, she came across an abyss that she wasn’t expecting.

All it took was one fateful step.

Kiersa slipped down into a thick, muddy mess with the consistency of quicksand.  Her strong, 800-pound body became wedged in the mud with a grip so fierce, that the more she struggled, the more she sank.

She wrestled and wriggled, trying to free herself. Sadly, all that did was drain her energy and feed her fear.

“She was trying to free herself and just couldn’t do it,” said Daniel Allen, from RVR Horse Rescue. “You could tell by her heart rate that she was under a lot of stress.”

As the mud begin swallowing her, firefighters from Hillsborough County, along with crews from Polk County arrived just in time.

They knew with her heart rate rising, time was running out – quickly. The rescue was urgent.

As a veterinarian arrived, the horse was sedated and a harness was wrapped around her body. The heroes quickly did what they do best, they saved a life. They hoisted her out of the mud and onto land.

“We had firefighters helping us lift her out. We had firefighters down in the mud. They were jumping in to help her and it was a beautiful sight to see,” said Allen.

As crews were fighting to keep Kiersa alive, it was clear she had the same spirit within her – that same fight for survival.

When she stood up for the first time, it was a moment that took their breath away.

“We could tell she was fighting,” said Allen. “She had a purpose and wasn’t done yet. She continue to fight. Look at this, in less than 24 hours, she is eating grass and walking around. It’s a beauty.”

By Tuesday afternoon, this survivor was once again roaming the pasture and snacking on grass. After all, this gal wasn’t ready to go. She has a lot more living to do.

Follow Melanie Michael on Facebook



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