Woman battles for 3 hours to save her stuck horse from rising tide

We all love our pets. Many of us swear we would put our lives on the line for them if they were ever in danger. Well, this week that is exactly what happened to a woman in Geelong, Victoria in Australia. Her afternoon started out as a fun ride on the beach with her daughter and their favorite horses. She loved this ride as it was very beautiful along the shoreline. But what happened to her that afternoon ending up testing her strength and dedication to her beloved horse.

As they were riding along both her horse and her daughter's horse suddenly sunk neck deep into the thick mud of Avalon Beach. The woman, Nicole Graham, managed to free herself and immediately went to the aid of her daughter. She was able to get her daughter and her daughter's horse out of the mud. But when she went back to her own horse, it proved to be impossible to get him out. As her daughter left to get help, Nicole stayed in the mud with her 18 year old horse, Astro. For three hours she had to keep his head raised because the tide was coming in and the horse could drown.

Members of the fire department, emergency services, and a vet all attempted to free the 1,100-pound horse. During it all, Nicole was calming her horse through every attempt and holding his nose above the water. First they tried using fire hoses, then a winch. Making little progress, the vet, Stacey Sullivan, sedated him so that he could be pulled out with a tractor. Fortunately they were able to pull him out before the tide came in. Happily Nicole Graham and the rescuers were then able lead Astro away from the beach after he was finally freed from the mud. Other than being completely covered in mud, Astro, the horse was no worse for the wear thanks to the love and determination of his owner, Nicole, to save him.

Check out the incredible rescue photos below.

Newspix via Rex USA
Nicole Graham holds her horse Astro's head above the rising tide after he got stuck in the mud.

Members of the fire department and the emergency services try to free the 1,100 pound horse with fire hoses, then a winch. Making little progress, vet Stacey Sullivan decides to sedate him and pull him clear with a tractor.

Astro tries to pull himself out of the mud after his front legs are clear.

Headed home! Graham and the rescuers lead Astro away from the beach after he was finally freed of the mud.

Responses to "Woman saves her horse from drowning out of sheer love and determination (VIDEO)"

  1. Aepril says:

    Wow! thank you for sharing this!!

  2. Carla Delaney says:

    Makes me rethink riding on the mud flats! I will pass this on to my horse people,

  3. Caballo says:

    Amazing story! Great pics.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    courageous woman and horse, thank heavens

  6. Anonymous says:

    What an awesome lady!!! I def would go through all that for any one of my pets!! That's how it should be :)

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    wonderful people!

  9. pamela says:

    truely awesome and it is so good to know that there are people out there who love their animals as much as i love mine, i would like to say thanks to all the rescuers :o)

  10. Vicki says:

    I am betting that Astro would have shown the same dedication to her. A bond that strong with an animal is never a one sided affair. I am so happy that this story had a very happy ending.

  11. I sunk down once over my knees. My boyfriend stood about 5 feet away afraid he'd go down too. First time at that beach and the tide was all the way out. When I stopped sinking he finally stretched and pulled me out. He wasn't my boyfriend much longer after that. Heads up: I had a rash on my legs up to where the mud covered them. Over the counter meds didn't help; I had to use prescription. Never knew what caused it but watch it momma and Astro.

  12. Anonymous says:

    What the hell was she doing out there on her horse in the first place? Oh what a nice day...well come on people lets be responsible, though I am happy about a happy ending but look at the trauma the horses went through!!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Idiot woman! It is her fault in the first place!

  14. notyet4u3 says:

    this is so awesome, i think every pet lover would come to the aid of their animals mine are my children and yes i would put my life on the line for mine

  15. Anonymous says:

    They give selflessly to us,and we should pay them back in kind. I saved my dogs from a house fire, and I would gladly do it again. Thumper <3

  16. Anonymous says:

    YOU obviously love your horse deeply, accidents happen and Astra obviously loves you to make it out....what a wonderful bond you share..thanks for sharing it with us.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, idiot woman? How about just plain idiot? As if a man would NEVER make any mistake...That being said. They ride this beach regularly. I am not familiar with the terrain, but if you're riding a place regularly and are comfortable with the landscape, then what's the big deal..? Just looks like a freak accident to me. Glad that she, her daughter, and their horses are safe and good for her for not panicking in that kind of situation.

  18. Anonymous says:

    she's not a hero, she is an idiot. riding on a mudflat in a tidal area? thank god for the firemen, the vet and they guy with the tractor. they should be getting the credit.

  19. Anonymous says:

    For future reference you need to aerate the mud around the horse w/ an air compressor, PVC piping and hoses, etc. to release the suction. Glad there was a good outcome. FYI please check in your area for a Large Animal Technical Rescue resources.

  20. John Beck says:

    Beautiful Pictures. More that we seen of TV News.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!

  22. Anonymous says:

    They were riding along a beach .... not mud flats.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Love is the most powerful force there is... and can work miracles

  24. Anonymous says:

    Awesome faith in mankind is gradully comming back

  25. Anonymous says:

    Love is empowering <3

  26. Anonymous says:

    You are both so beautiful !

  27. Anonymous says:

    What a happy ending to a near fatal story.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I agree with what Vicki said. I'm glad to see emergency response with such dedication to save the life our animals and pets, wild or domestic.
    Good story thank you for sharing.


  29. Anonymous says:

    the power off love

  30. indeed this is a great newsworthy piece, its a pity you are fooling the public to believe its a recent story, this particular one has been going the rounds for a long time.....mmmmmm....makes me wonder



  32. Anonymous says:

    awesome, awesome, awesome

  33. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful courage and determination

  34. Anonymous says:

    WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!Wonderful courage and determination

  35. Anonymous says:

    Quelle aventure !

  36. Anonymous says:

    what an act of bravory and love. this is why i find australia and its people so amazing

  37. Richard says:

    Well done your a star

  38. Anonymous says:

    les larmes aux yeux BRAVO

  39. Unknown says:

    wow amazing thank u for power guys..very touching..

  40. Is it bad that my first thought was, "Artax! No! Fight the sadness!!!"

  41. Anonymous says:

    reminds me of the film the never-ending story where a horse got stuck in the mud but only they couldn't save that one. thank god it was just a film. kudos to this woman and the people who helped for not giving up on this horse. :)

  42. Andrew Dube says:

    Thank you for sharing and God bless the farmer for pulling the horse from the mud.

  43. Steve says:

    Wonderful people!

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