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Posted: April 06, 2017

Horse leaving Taco Bell rescued from underground vault after fall

Bob Markin/AP
This Saturday, April 1, 2017 photo provided by Bob Markin shows Riverside Fire Department firefighters help rescue a horse from a hole in the ground in Riverside, Calif. Fire officials say the saddled horse and its rider had just left a Taco Bell near downtown Riverside on Saturday when the cover on a utility vault collapsed. Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie says a crane was initially requested to haul the horse from the vault but it wasn't needed. The animal managed to position itself so crews could pull it out using ropes. A veterinarian said the horse suffered minor cuts to its legs. (Bob Markin via AP)

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Horse leaving Taco Bell rescued from underground vault after fall
This Saturday, April 1, 2017 photo provided by Bob Markin shows Riverside Fire Department firefighters help rescue a horse from a hole in the ground in Riverside, Calif. Fire officials say the saddled horse and its rider had just left a Taco Bell near downtown Riverside on Saturday when the cover on a utility vault collapsed. Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie says a crane was initially requested to haul the horse from the vault but it wasn't needed. The animal managed to position itself so crews could pull it out using ropes. A veterinarian said the horse suffered minor cuts to its legs. (Bob Markin via AP)

By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

RIVERSIDE, Calif. —

Firefighters, veterinarians and police helped rescue a horse after the animal and its owner tumbled into an underground utility vault Saturday while leaving Taco Bell in Riverside, California, authorities said.

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Fire officials found the horse just after 9 p.m. Saturday, neck-deep in a collapsed portion of sidewalk in Riverside’s Ramona neighborhood, the Press-Enterprise reported.

It had fallen through a vault cover and into a hole about 5 by 10 feet wide and 5 feet deep, authorities said.

"I don’t think it was designed -- or anyone would’ve expected -- that a horse would be walking there, in that part of the city," Battalion Chief Jeff DeLaurie told the Press-Enterprise.

Wards 3 and 5 / Horse Rescue / 5600 Block of Arlington cross of Phoenix / Incident #17-009421 The City of Riverside...

Posted by City of Riverside Fire Department on Sunday, April 2, 2017

Officials determined the horse was unlikely to make it out of the hole on its own and called in the city’s Heavy Animal Rescue Team. The team is made up of members of the fire department’s Technical Rescue Team, a veterinarian and mounted police.

A veterinarian sedated the horse and authorities called for a crane to assist in the rescue efforts.

The efforts ended just after 10 p.m., when the horse was able to jump from the hole on its own, according to KNBC.

A veterinarian checked over the horse and found it had lacerations on both legs, according to the news station. Fire officials said the horse’s owner brought a trailer to the scene to take the horse to a veterinarian for further evaluation.

The horse’s owner did not appear to have suffered injuries.


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