ELIZABETH, Colo. (CBS4) — A Clydesdale horse escaped injury Friday after falling through ice and spending a frigid hour in a pond until rescuers freed it.

The horse wandered onto the ice of a retention on private ranch property in the 40000 block of Elbert County Road 21.

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Members of the Elizabeth Fire Department and Elbert County Sheriff’s Office came together to pull the horse free, according to ECSO spokesman Chris Dickey.

When firefighters arrived, the horse was standing in six to eight feet of icy water.

Elizabeth FD firefighter Rusty Booth crawled along the ice and put a halter on the animal.

Other firefighters then broke the six-inch-thick ice around the horse.

Dickey said a half dozen deputies and firefighters then pulled on a rope attached to the horse’s halter to turn it around and guide it toward the edge of the ice where it first fell through.

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The Clydesdale raised up quickly on its front legs but struggled to pull its rear legs free. With monumental effort, it leaped from the water and stood precariously on all fours. But it did not fall.

Dickey, wearing a black cowboy hat, was the first to greet the tired creature.

“It’s was a darn big horse when you’re standing next to it,” he said.

Dickey said the owners of the ranch are in the process of building a fence around the retention pond to prevent just this kind of accident.

An update to the story.

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