Posse rescues stranded horses

Published 12:01 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

Covington County Sheriff’s Posse members rescued three horses trapped in flash flood waters of the Conecuh River Wednesday, just off of Prestwood Bridge Road.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said members were notified of the situation around lunch.

“From what we could tell, the three horses got stranded on an island where the river had overflowed,” Meeks said. “Posse members and deputies used a private boat to go out in the river and get them.

“They placed halters on them and led them behind the boat to higher ground, where a trailer was waiting to pick them up,” he said.

The horses, described as “thoroughbreds,” are owned by Tyrone and Althea Courson. The couple owns 47 acres right before the bridge on Prestwood Bridge Road and were out of town when the rescue happened.

Their niece, Amanda Maggard, saw the incident unfold.

“The river was fine the night before, but the next morning — it just kept rising,” Maggard said. “The horses got trapped out there. It happened so quickly. The sheriff’s office used boats and jet skis. It was amazing to watch.”

Maggard said divers had to swim underwater to cut fencing before the horses could swim out.

“They put the halter on the lead horse and the others followed him,” she said. “They swam probably a quarter of a mile before they were able to reach higher ground.

“We weren’t 100 percent sure they were going to make it out because the water was so high,” she said. “We were very thankful that the sheriff’s office was able to come out and help.”

Meeks said it was just another way posse members and deputies give back to the community.

“We are always going to do what we can to save life, be it animal or human,” Meeks said.