Rescue Helicopter Gives a Lift to Injured Horse

Athoroughbred polo pony that stumbled off a trail into a steep canyon in Porter Ranch had to be lifted out of the canyon Sunday afternoon by a helicopter.

Pat Stewart, 43, of Ventura--helping Los Angeles Animal Control Officer Dennis Kroeplin put a sling on the sedated gelding, at right--was riding the animal Sunday morning about 10 a.m. in Limekiln Canyon. The horse slipped at a turn on a narrow trail, falling about 25 feet.

Animal control workers led the horse partway out of the canyon, but determined that one slip could send the animal--and perhaps the rescuers--tumbling back into its depths, Kroeplin said. The city helicopter was called in.

Later in the afternoon, an examination revealed that the horse's foreleg was broken at the upper shoulder and knee. Stewart said Sunday night that the animal would have to be put to death.

The area where the accident occurred, northwest of the intersection of Tampa Avenue and Rinaldi Street, is a popular spot for horseback riding and hiking.

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