Jan. 5 Update:
The 25-year-old mare, named Gracie, died during the evening of Monday, Jan 4.
It took East Pierce Fire and Rescue firefighters nearly an hour to rescue a horse that had stepped through an ice-covered drainage ditch in a pasture at the 7400 block of 214th Avenue East, near Lake Tapps, on Sunday.
The 25-year-old mare was unable to get back up despite the best efforts of her owners, and firefighters were called at 9:33 to assist.
After firefighters were able to roll the horse out of the water, she was too cold and worn out to stand, said East Pierce Battalion Chief Jay Adams.
“We used pocket hand warmers, a propane-powered heater and emergency blankets to warm her up,” he said.
The horse had been laying on the cold, wet ground for some time and, at one point, her body temperature was below 90 degrees. “Normal for a horse is around 101,” said Adams, who has also owned horses.
A veterinarian was called to the scene and after the mare could stand, she was transported to a heated barn in Wilkeson to be observed.