Two ponies extricated from overturned trailer

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Waterford — A Lawrence + Memorial paramedic used her contacts in the equestrian community to help firefighters rescue two ponies that were trapped inside their trailer after it overturned on the icy Interstate 395-Route 32 connector early Sunday morning.

The Quaker Hill and Cohanzie fire departments were dispatched at 7:42 a.m. to two separate crashes in the northbound lanes, one involving a car and the pickup truck towing the horse trailer in the northbound lane, according to the Cohanzie spokesman Steve Frischling.

No people were injured, but firefighters found the overturned horse trailer perched over an embankment, with two ponies named "Sheldon" and "Oki" inside.

Wendy Brayman, an equine trainer with Hunter Ridge, a stable in Ashaway, R.I., was transporting two riders and the ponies to a show in Glastonbury, when she said she  struck a patch of black ice. The trailer jackknifed and the truck ended up down the embankment.

As firefighters stabilized the trailer, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital paramedic Lindsay
Congdon, who rides horses and had been to horse trailer accidents in the past, contacted area veterinarians she knew to come to the scene.

Congdon also convinced firefighters to hold back on their desire to attend to the horses until the veterinarians with specific training in such accidents could arrive. 

Veterinarian Stacey Golub of East Hampton, who has had special training in trailer accidents and the trauma that comes with it, arrived and helped coordinate the effort to get the horses out.

Veterinarians sedated the horses, and firefighters used the Jaws of Life to cut away damaged areas of the trailer, so the horses could be safely removed. Meanwhile, state police closed Interstate 395 and the Route 32 connector.

The first horse was extricated from the trailer approximately 70 minutes after the accident occurred and second about 15 minutes later.

Oki was standing inside the trailer and was led out first. Sheldon had fallen, and Golub and veterinarian Cara Kneser of Plainfield administered a sedative before getting the horse to his feet and then leading him out of the trailer as well. Both horses were led to a trailer brought from a local farm where the veterinarians continued to administer care.



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