The owner of a horse which got trapped in a ditch says he is on the road to recovery.

Ben, a 27-year-old horse became stuck in a field at Corfe Hill Farm, off Dorchester Road, Redlands, Weymouth.

The fire brigade was called after his owners’ were unsuccessful in their efforts to free him.

Crews from Weymouth Fire Station and an animal rescue unit from Poole station then came to his rescue.

Ben, who is a former Irish sports horse, was given a painkiller and a steroid before firefighters used lines and strops to haul him back out of the ditch.

One of his owner’s, Sophie Gardiner, has thanked the fire brigade for their efforts.

She said: “They were really good, they arrived within five minutes of us calling. There were at least 14 firefighters.

“At first there was four then more kept coming as well as the animal rescue team from Poole.

“I didn’t know they did it and I can’t believe we were not charged. They were there for a good two hours at least.

“They were so gentle with him. I had no idea the fire brigade did that sort of thing.”

Since his rescue, Ben is feeling a little sore but will soon be back to his full strength.

Sophie added: “He’s completely uninjured and it’s all down to the fire brigade and Dorset Equine Vets who are always incredible, they always see our horses and give them the best care.”

“Michelle who lives on site at the farm absolutely loves him and will be riding him soon when he’s ready to be ridden again.”

Ben is a rescue horse who was originally destined for the slaughterhouse but was found a new home.

Since being rehomed he has helped teach many youngsters how to ride.

Sophie added: “He’s one of the sweetest horses you will ever meet. He looks like black beauty.

“He’s taught loads of our friends’ daughters over the years how to ride.

“You can put anyone on him and know that he will be safe with them.”