Horse rescued after falling into neck-deep, muddy creek



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A tired 28-year-old Appaloosa horse named Lila emerged from a swampy creek Wednesday afternoon.

The horse sat for hours, up to her neck in mud.

Monica Eastman was riding Lila when she slipped off a narrow bridge in the Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve.

"We were just riding. She took a step back -- just fell over the bridge and into some mud. It was about this deep up to her," said Eastman, pointing to her neck.

Lila couldn't move. But Eastman wasn't alone. She was riding with her friend Trish Stowe, and her horse, Freeway.

Stowe went for help.

"She tried pulling her out and I said, 'Look, let me just go and try to get some help,' and I ran as fast I could," said Stowe.

Dozens of firefighters from New Smyrna and Volusia County arrived.

Animal control workers and sheriff's deputies were also there to help.

"I was just telling her she'd be OK. This is like my best friend, so she was OK," said Eastman.

With some special equipment and hours of careful positioning, Lila was pulled from the muddy creek.

She appeared shaken, but in good health.