EMERGENCY action was taken in Maisemore today to remove five horses from danger as flood waters threatened to sweep the animals into the River Severn.
A Severn Bore tide came in at 9am, and looked likely to submerge a field where the horses have been tethered up since Christmas.
Worried campaigners had travelled up from West Sussex to check up on the horses after photos showing their plight were posted on Facebook.
Steve Potter, 40, who lives in Hartpury and blogs about the Severn Bore, said: “It was a close call as the horses had to be moved to higher ground as the water was rising.
“The horses’ owner had around 20 minutes to move all five of them to dry ground. The police were there to close the road off and the fire service also turned up to help.
“There was one stallion who looked quite distressed and it looked as though he was about to panic as the water started to rise to around two feet.
“Luckily they were all taken away to safety, I don’t think they will be left there again.”
Up to ten horses there have been chained up since Christmas Day. But when confusion surrounding who was responsible for the animals’ welfare arose, concerned horse lovers took matters into their own hands.
Aleathea Hill took the long drive up from Arundle in West Sussex to intervene.
She said: “We were trying to get the horses out of there, I’m not going to sit back and watch them drown. They should not be in the state they are in. They are soaking wet with dirty rugs on their backs It is cruel, I would never put a horse in that situation.”
A flood warning has been in place for the River Severn at Sandhurst and Maisemore including Walham, since New Years Day.
With further heavy rain expected today and into the weekend, campaigners have urged the RSPCA to step in and take action.
Katya Mira, press officer for the RSPCA, said their inspectors have been carrying out regular checks on the horses and were happy they were being fed and watered regularly.