FIREFIGHTERS from west Cumbria spent two hours rescuing a stranded horse in the Egremont area.

Equipped with specialist rescue gear, crews from Whitehaven, Egremont, Frizington and Workington were called out after the 18-hands high horse collapsed in a stable and was unable to get up again.

The alarm was raised at 11am today.

They initially raised the horse using air bags - part of the crews' large animal rescue kit.

It also includes hoists.

"The crews were there for about two hours," said a spokesman the fire service.

The horse was uninjured.

Firefighters are given specialist training in large animal rescue techniques.

"It's a surprisingly regular occurrence," added the spokesman.