Horse rescued from ice-covered beaver pond in Warwick

  • Warwick resident Sarah Ostar attempts to lead her horse, Elliot, through a series of shallow streams below the beaver dam off of Bass Road to get him home. Firefighters rescued the horse Wednesday morning from a shallow, ice-covered beaver pond. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Warwick resident Sarah Ostar attempts to lead her horse, Elliot, through a series of shallow streams below the beaver dam off of Bass Road to get him home. Firefighters rescued the horse Wednesday morning from a shallow, ice-covered beaver pond. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Elliott, a 4-year-old gelding, was rewarded with grain and a short walk home after he was rescued from an ice-covered, shallow beaver pond off of Bass Road in Warwick on Wednesday morning. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Warwick firefighters Eaden Marti and Nadia Woodson Marti, who are brother and sister, donned red dry suits and entered the ice-covered beaver pond, pictured behind them, to rescue a 4-year-old horse, Elliot, on Wednesday. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Warwick firefighters Eaden Marti and Nadia Woodson Marti donned red dry suits and entered the beaver pond off of Bass Road to rescue Elliot, a 4-year-old gelding, on Wednesday morning. Contributed Photo

Staff Writer
Published: 12/29/2021 5:07:20 PM

WARWICK — Bass Road resident Sarah Ostar fed her 4-year-old gelding, Elliot, on Wednesday morning as usual, but when she went to turn him out later, the horse was nowhere to be found.

“He busted out of his stall,” she recounted. “Last time he got out, he wandered over to my neighbor’s yard, so I looked there, but then I saw him in the water.”

Ostar lives at the end of Bass Road, which was once connected to White Road when there was a bridge over a beaver dam on Bass Swamp. Elliot had walked most of the way across the shallow, ice-covered beaver pond, getting stuck about 20 feet from shore.

Ostar alerted Warwick Fire Chief Joseph Larson, who responded to the area on Bass Road before deciding the horse would be more easily reached from the White Road side. Larson requested help from the Royalston Fire Department, which had equine rescue equipment, and the Orange Fire Department.

After the other departments arrived, Warwick firefighters Eaden Marti and his sister, Nadia Woodson Marti, donned red dry suits and entered the beaver pond, making their way to the horse by breaking the ice.

“I have trained for ice rescues, but this is the first time I have done one,” Woodson Marti said.

Her brother added that once the ice was broken, they had to lead the horse out of the water, which proved difficult as the gelding kept sinking in the mud.

Once out of the water, however, Elliot was not back at the barn, as he was on the wrong side of the swamp. With help from the firefighters, Ostar tried to lead her horse through a series of more shallow streams below the beaver dam to get him home. Although not eager to enter the streams after his earlier ordeal, Elliot eventually bounded through each of them, and was rewarded with grain and a short walk home on the other side.

“It went well,” Larson said of the rescue effort. “We got him out and nobody got hurt.”

Reach Paul Franz at 413-772-0261,
ext. 266 or pfranz@recorder.com.


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