Nicole Graham was out riding with Paris, her daughter, when they suddenly sank into the mud. Nicole was able to help free her daughter's horse, but Astro, weighing nearly 500 kg (over 1,000 lbs) kept sinking deeper and deeper. With the rising tide, they knew they did not have much time.
Nicole knew she had to do something.
Astro's efforts to struggle free only forced him deeper into the quicksand-like mud. Nicole frantically tried to help her companion of 18 years, but only dug herself deeper in the mud with him.
Paris ran to their car so she could call for help, while Nicole waited with Astro. Keeping his head above water, she also tried to keep him calm during this terrifying experience.
The rescue crew arrived, but they still needed to find a way to free Astro from the mud. In an effort to calm him, he was given a sedative.
For the first time since this harrowing event started, Nicole had to leave Astro's side.
Getting Astro out was no easy task. The mud made it difficult for rescue vehicles to gain access, and time was running out. When a neighbor farmer arrived with a tractor, they were able to get to work in pulling Astro from the mud.
Exhaustion and the effects of the sedative made Astro weak on his legs.
Still, after three terrifying hours, he was finally free.
Luckily, Astro suffered no major injuries. He was mildly dehydrated and understandably exhausted. The rescue team noted that, without Nicole's efforts, Astro's chances of survival would have been a lot lower.
Nicole Graham said of the event to the Daily Mail, "It was terrifying. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling."
The touching story of Nicole's dedication to Astro and heroic joint efforts to save him is undeniably moving. Let us know what you thought of their survival story by commenting below.
This is a video of the incident: