Friday, July 25, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Stuck horse freed from trees

2013-12-11 11.28.20

NIKE the horse slid downhill in the snow and wound up stuck in the fork of two trees. The rescue operation took two hours. Photo courtesy of Kathy Carpenter

By
From page A1 | December 20, 2013 |

Nike the horse was settling down in his normal spot for a nap at 10 a.m. on Dec. 11, after the snowstorm hit Placerville. Once asleep, the horse rolled over and slid down a snowy embankment, hitting trees. The horse had flipped upside down, headfirst, sliding into a group of six trees and getting his head caught. It would take a chainsaw and two hours to get the struggling horse free.

Chase McMillan, 14, heard the commotion and told his mother, Celeste, that something happened, said Kathy Carpenter, Nike’s owner. The McMillans investigated and saw the horse in distress. Celeste immediately called Carpenter. Carpenter, in turn, called Slate Creek Animal Hospital and her son, Sam. She was 15 minutes away, as was Sam.

She arrived at the McMillans’ ranch, 10 acres overlooking the American River Canyon towards Swansboro, and assessed the situation. Nike had turned into a “toboggan” and slid down 63 feet, Kathy Carpenter said. His neck was caught in the “V” between two trees, and being upside down — something horses are not used to — was lowering his blood pressure, affecting his lungs and brain. With the trees pressing into his neck, the horse was effectively being strangled.

Dr. Michael Russell, an equine veterinarian, and his assistant Calla Tindell arrived. “If Nike continued to thrash, there was the possibility for him to break his neck and or legs,” Carpenter said of the vet’s evaluation. “There was no way to lift, wench or pivot a 1,600-pound horse up and out of the life-threatening position he was in.”

Sam Carpenter arrived with his chainsaw. The horse’s legs were tied together with rope, his head fitted with a halter and lifted to alleviate the pressure and moved safely to side, and the work began. “Six persons, ropes, halter, chainsaws, hand saws, horse sedatives, blood, sweat, tears and a lot of praying” went into the effort, Kathy Carpenter said.

“It seemed like forever but was about two hours or so, and the tree trunk was cut almost all the way through,” she said. Using “brute strength,” Russell and Sam “manhandled the tree trunk until the last piece holding broke through. Nike’s breathing was more labored, he had blood in his mouth and his head had swelled.”

They began smacking the horse and yelling at him to wake up. Nike’s breathing was still labored.

“To all our amazement he was able to force himself against the remaining stump and twist his body up and to his feet with a whinny,” Kathy said, and “the other two horses who had been looking on answered back.” She said it was “just like the movies” and “a Christmas miracle.”

The horse was then treated for shock, dehydration and inflammation of the spinal cord, but managed to walk away with only cuts to his legs.

“It was a freaky, freak thing,” Carpenter said. She thanked her son Sam, the McMillans, Russell and Tindell. “Nike would not be here today if it wasn’t for each and every one of you.”

Comments

comments

.

News

 
Scaffolding issue makes for contentious meeting

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
District 2: Candidates debate jobs versus lifestyle

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Accident: 1 bullet hits 2

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
 
Help available for breastfeeding mothers

By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

El Dorado County School Board vacancy

By El Dorado County Office of Education | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Something to think about: More than what you see

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A4

 
Popular science

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

The weekly Daley: A good time to be there…

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Support of Director Prada

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Uphold the Third Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Bureaucracy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Imagination Theater’s play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Watch whom you’re calling ‘conservative’

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Fake ‘small farms’ steal from residential EID customers

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

People of Placerville

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Computer scam phone calls

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

.

Sports

Sports Scene: July 24, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By Andrew Hazard | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Paddle time

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

 
Midget Lites join tomorrow’s action

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A6

El Dorado rallies for last-inning victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6

 
Rush sit a win from Series

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A7

Tasmanian Devils go undefeated

By Patty Pope | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

El Dorado wines win in Amador

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B1

 
Things to do: July 25, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

Suds entice the taste buds

By Krysten Kellum | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Rhythm and Views goes bluesy

By | From Page: B3

Have an Hawaiian vacation at Carson Road wineries

By Carson Road Winery Asociation | From Page: B3Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Summer fun is happening in Twain Harte

By Fire On | From Page: B4Comments are off for this post

Manzanita doubles the music

By Table Nectar And Manzanita | From Page: B5

 
Recording artist at Busby Cellars

By News Release | From Page: B6

Hands4Hope hosts school supply drive

By News Release | From Page: B6

 
Supergroup plays Harris Center

By Carrera Productions | From Page: B6

Artists invited to go western

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B7

 
Visit Tahoe artists during tour

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B7

Reggae on the River celebrates 30 years

By Reggae On | From Page: B7Comments are off for this post

 
.

Essentials

Lake levels 7-24-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 11-13

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Building permits 7/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

 
Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A9

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A9

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Sunday, July 27, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
Horoscope, Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

Horoscope, Friday, July 25, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A10

 
.

Home Source

How to have a garden party, minus the whining

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS3

Most common mistakes homebuyers make

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4