Firefighters rushed to the aid of a pony and a foal, after they became stuck in the mud in the New Forest.

Animal Rescue Specialists from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Ashlett Creek after the mare and her 12-hour-old foal became trapped in an estuary, beside a steep sea wall.

The drama unfolded after the owner of the animals went to check on her ponies at around 6.30am on Wednesday June 20, when she discovered the mare stuck in the deep mud.

The mare, called Dena, had given birth to the foal during the night, before the newborn fell down a steep bank into the mud.

The mare followed her offspring down into the mud to protect it, where she remained until fire and rescue crews arrived at around 7.30am.

Watch Manager Buster Brown said: “After making sure that both animals were not injured I decided to move the foal away from the mare knowing that she would naturally follow me with her foal.

“I then picked the foal up and carried it up the steep bank. I placed it onto the grass meadow at the top, the mare quickly followed and after a shrug of its coat and a ‘whinny’ both animals went off to feed on the lush meadow grasses with the foal suckling from its mother.”

The owner and her family, who always name their new foals after birds, have now named the foal ‘Mud-Lark.’