FIRE crews carried out a large rescue operation after the legs of a horse became stuck in a deep ditch for several hours this morning.

The 19-year-old gelding, whose body is as long as 15 hands, remained trapped between branches and twigs down a hole on Burley Road in Brockenhurst while a fire rescue team formulated a plan to save the animal.

Crews from Lymington, Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst were sent to the incident after the owner of the horse called the emergency services.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We were called at 8.35am to a horse stuck in a deep ditch on Burley Road in Brockenhurst.

"The vet sedated the horse while the rescue team used a manitou [forklift machinery used to lift heavy items] during the rescue.

They added: "The horse is in the care of a vet and did not sustain any injuries.

"We finished the rescue at 11.45am."