It took a team effort, including a neighbor who happens to be a country superstar, to save a horse that took a terrifying fall Thursday into the Harpeth River.
The horse tumbled 15 feet into the water when a rain-soaked riverbank gave way in Franklin.
Misty looks like any other 15-year-old horse, and she will likely make a full recovery, but the Appaloosa was up against terrible odds after venturing too far from home.
A horse and its owner always have a special bond, and now they share the amazing story of survival.
"I went to Florida five years ago and rescued her," said owner Janet McCormick.
McCormick said Misty wandered too far through the back field on her Franklin property and got in trouble when the riverbank gave way.
"Oh, yes. It was very upsetting. Very, very stressful," McCormick said.
After losing her footing, the animal wound up tumbling about 15 feet, with only her head sticking out of the water.
"I'm just glad it wasn't as cold as it has been," McCormick said.
Perhaps the weather helped save the day, because the river has not yet frozen over this winter.
Country star Luke Bryan, who lives nearby, was boating the Harpeth and spotted the horse. He stopped and, along with a friend, alerted the family and rescuers.
"It was a blessing. If they hadn't been going down the river in the boat, I wouldn't have known that she'd fallen in," McCormick said.
It took a team of about a dozen people several hours to free Misty from the chilly Harpeth.
Plan after plan seemed to fail until something finally worked.
"They had to halter her, and with some straps and a tractor and a lot of manpower to get her pulled out of the mud and get her back on the shore," said Doug Brightwell, with Williamson County Animal Control. "It's nice to have a happy ending to a story, especially to one that could have turned out so much differently."
After a lot of rest Friday, Misty seems fine. Aside from a little limp, you would hardly know anything happened.
Of course, McCormick said she won't soon forget.
"You can't thank anybody enough for taking an interest and being so helpful and genuine," she said. "And it's a blessing to have good neighbors."
The county's emergency management and rescue squad also assisted in the team effort to save Misty.
An equine veterinarian told McCormick said her horse seemed a little sore but should make a full recovery.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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