Horse stuck in hole on city's south side dies

January 24, 2011 7:03:21 AM PST
A horse that fell into an uncovered manhole, which then grew into a sinkhole in the city's south side, has died.

The SPCA tells us the horse, an 8-year-old paint gelding named Sonny, was being prepared for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo along Scott Street Saturday afternoon when it fell into an uncovered manhole. The soil around the manhole collapsed and the horse fell about 12 feet. It was able to make its way up to a narrow sewer pipe.

Six hours after widening the hole and busting out pipe, a veterinarian was able to get to the horse, which was surrounded by water.

"Due to several issues, such as severe shock, hyperthermia, exposure to toxins, unfortunately we are sad to say that we couldn't save the horse," SPCA Spokeswoman Meera Nandlal said.

"We were riding, out trying to get our horse prepared for the big ride, which is the Rodeo, and about 2:30," witness Corie Wilson said. "We came down here on Scott Street and the horse decided he wanted to go in the high grass and once the horse went into the high grass, the horse went into the hole."

The rider was able to jump to safety. Wilson said the horse's owner was able to escape without injury but is still distraught.

"He'd do anything you wanted him to do," Wilson said. "He was riding that horse and training that horse, you know. It distraught him."

The horse was pulled from the hole Saturday but had to be euthanized because if his injuries. Sunday a city crew came out and removed the horses remains.

The SPCA says the uncovered manhole is a question for the city of Houston.