|Nicole Graham comforts her horse Astro. Photo/The Daily Mail|
An Australian woman bravely fought the elements to save her beloved horse from the grips of death after it became hopelessly trapped in a mud pit, with the ocean tide set to sweep in and drown the mighty animal.
In a powerful and emotional scene straight out of the classic children's movie The Neverending Story, Nicole Graham remained resolutely beside her horse Astro, comforting the enormous animal as rescuers tried desperately to free him from the quicksand-like trap on a beach in the town of Geelong, near Melbourne, Australia.
What had started out as an idyllic journey riding the horses on the beautiful beach on a southern hemisphere summer day quickly deteriorated into a nightmare after Graham and her daughter Paris found themselves steering the horses into a dangerous mud trap. Graham and Paris successfully managed to pull the smaller horse from the quagmire, but the much-larger Astro began to quickly sink in deeper and deeper.
Graham's daughter ran to call for help as she remained by Astro's side, clinging to his neck and trying to comfort him, all along fearing the powerful tide would begin to sweep onto the beach and drown the frightened horse. In her desperation, Graham also became trapped in the mud pit. Help quickly arrived and after a three-hour ordeal, both Astro and Nicole were pulled from the pit and the jaws of death.
Graham, who owns more than 10 horses and runs an equine dentistry business, told the Geelong Advertiser how a peaceful afternoon's ride had turned to terror. "It was terrifying. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling."
I'm thrilled there was a happy ending to this tale...