Horse Drowns After Falling Into Well

A horse owner is grieving after the dramatic death of her daughter's horse.

The animal fell into a 25 foot well in rural Robertson County Friday morning. He spent three hours struggling to survive against rising waters while his owner struggled to find someone to get him out.

Ann McElfresh says she saw her daughter's 3-year-old horse, Cotton, wander away from her property.

"I said oh he fell and then he just... whoosh. I said, oh my God. I didn't know what to do. I just walked up and saw he was in the well," she said.

McElfresh says she didn't even know the well was there.

She immediately began calling for help. But every public service agency McElfresh called from Robertson County to Fayette County couldn't, or wouldn't come.

She says she called for help from three different counties, but two hours into Cotton's fight for life, help still hadn't arrived.

Lexington fire officials said they were coming to help, but before they could get there, the animal drowned at the bottom of the well.

McElfresh says she worries that the well could be a danger to other animals and maybe even people.

She was also praying for the strength to tell her young daughter what happened to the horse.

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  • by horselover Location: mason county on Apr 24, 2007 at 03:35 PM
    Why was the horse not securely fenced to begin with? Why did WKYT go after the throat of the fire department? What did the neighbor have to say about his well?
  • by arabianponies Location: eastern washington state on Apr 24, 2007 at 06:57 AM
    I am deeply saddened by this story, it is truely heart breaking. More often than not, we all want to place blame on everybody else for when tragic things happen. Way too often we are a people that watch things happen and then wonder why later nobody helped. Sometimes things just happen, even if you do try your best to prevent them, but there is no use blaming others. Maybe there is more that could have been done, maybe there were not enough resources. Maybe individuals were conserned about being in water with a horse treading water and worried about loosing their own life in the process. It doesn't mean that they do not care for them. I have been in mud past me knees trying to save a cow that was stuck that did not even belong to me, but that is just me. I am just a regular, ordinary, run of the mill, eastern washington hick that doesn't want to see and animal suffer and will do my best myself if need be and not blame others if it doesn't work to save the life of the animal. Instead of being a nation of blamers, we need to be a nation of do-ers. Next time you see something or someone in need, don't expect the police or fire departments to be the only ones to do something about it. Step in and help yourself, you just might make the difference in the world to the situation! You never know untill you do it! My heart felt sadness for the owners who lost their horse.
  • by Anonymous Location: Roberston County on Apr 23, 2007 at 02:10 PM
    To begin with, we are all sorry for the loss of the horse. Second, it would have been far to dangerous to send a person down the well to put a harness around the horse, especially without the proper equipment and skills. Third, a person is usually much lighter than a horse-therefore, rescuing a person would have been a much easier task!Also, it would have done absolutely no good to send people down there just to watch. Last, I don't believe communication about the horse was given to county officals until it was to late.What happened, happened, there is no sense saying anyone is pathetic! Again, everyone is sorry for the loss, thanks!
  • by David Linville Location: Robertson County on Apr 23, 2007 at 08:09 AM
    Terrible thing this happened, this time it was a horse, what if a kid falls into the well? Will these county officals use the same reasoning? Pathetic.
  • by Dennis Location: Harrodsburg on Apr 23, 2007 at 06:30 AM
    I was one of the people responding from Lexington to assist in the rescue of Cotton the pony. Beleve me when I say that we did all we could to help. distance and time were a factor against us. But there is training for Large Animal rescue. It is offered at least twice a year in Ky. It is open to all Fire Depts and rescue personnel. Also several people are working toward getting a state wide Large animal rescue team started. I am sorry that Ky. the HORSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD does not have a team. Talk to the States around us and see how many of them have a team. I am truely sorry for the loss, I too have horses and am a trained Large Animal Rescue Tech.
  • by Breaking Heart Location: eastern KY on Apr 22, 2007 at 08:04 AM
    My heart is breaking after hearing this story! I can only imagine the fear, helplessness, and anguish of watching as your horse is dying! I understand if no one has the proper equipment to retrieve the horse but what I don't understand is the reaction of some of the comments here! see see of Robertson is a clear example of someone with satan in their heart! I pray for them! see see, (your name does not deserve a capital letter) I hope you come to your senses one day soon and feel regret and embarrassment over you comments for the rest of your life! Haven't you ever lost anyone close to you? A family pet is a family member. (edited)
  • by JMichael Location: Mother Earth on Apr 22, 2007 at 04:12 AM
    Is there anyone out there that cares enough to help the horse? Obviously not. Pathetic.
  • by Tammy Location: Robertson Co on Apr 21, 2007 at 06:49 PM
    I was upset when I heard this story. I could not imagine what it must of been like to watch that horse struggle for hours trying to stay alive. I think if the county was called they could have at least made an attempt by showing up and assesing the situation. They may not have been able to save the horse but at least it would have shown they were concerned.
  • by see see Location: robertson on Apr 21, 2007 at 06:04 PM
    The family need to keep her horse on her land. Poeple loss aniamls every day dogs cats,any pet things happen.Aperson life is more inportion then a animals.She can replace the horse for her little girl.
  • by angela Location: robertson on Apr 21, 2007 at 01:34 PM
    People in Robertson co donot pay fire tax.It is a volunteer fire dept.They donot have equipment for that kind of a job.vVolunteer means they volunteer for free.The fire fighter donot get paid for any thing they do.These people have full time job to pay there bills.She was told to get a 2 ton wrecker and a veterinary but she didnot won't to pay for it. She won't some one to do it for free.
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