Fire crews have rescued a miniature horse after it was found trapped in a 1.5-metre deep drain.

Specialist animal rescue firefighters from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) were scrambled when the horse, called Chiquita, was discovered in the drain off Purbrook Heath Road, Waterlooville, on Thursday.

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The fire crews used a special harness to help extricate the stricken horse.

An HFRS spokesman said: “Crews from Cosham, Winchester, Brockenhurst, Gosport and the Eastleigh USAR (urban search and rescue) team were called to Purbrook Heath Road in Waterlooville when a miniature horse was found trapped in a 1.5m concrete drain.

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“The horse measured 9.2 hands and weighed approximately 250kg.

“Equine vets and animal rescue experts also came to the scene to assist.

“Chiquita was successfully lifted from the drain using an animal rescue harness and USAR manitou. She was unharmed during the rescue and handed over into the care of the equine vets.”

Fire officer Steve Buchanan-Lee posted on Twitter: “Great job from all involved. Little ‘Chiquita’ is out safe and well and being checked by the vets.”