A rescue operation took place to save a horse which had become trapped in a ditch.

Firefighters were called at about 6.30am yesterday, to reports that the animal was trapped alongside School Road, in Langham.

Two crews from Colchester were sent to the scene, where they discovered a second horse was also loose in the road.

They called for police back-up to ensure that motorists did not hit the escaped animal.

The trapped horse appeared injured, so firefighters asked for a vet and the RSPCA to attend to make sure they did not injure it further during the rescue.

Initially crews used strops and a fork-lift to try and lever the animal out, and at one point they called for the assistance of the urban search and rescue team, based in Lexden, to bring their specialist equipment. The team was sent back though after firefighters eventually managed to free the horse using heavy straps at about 8.10am.

The horse is about 12 years old and was left in the care of the vet, seemingly no worse for its ordeal.