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Volunteers save horse from icy pond


Eight local volunteers, in the middle of the night, helped save a horse that had fallen through the ice in a Douglas County pond recently.

Ron and Virginia Keller live outside of the Crown Point area on Pendell Road. After coming home from dining out March 10, they realized they didn’t know where their two horses were, thinking it unusual the horses weren’t waiting for their late-night snack of apples and carrots.

Ron searched his property far and wide, wearing a headlamp and carrying a flashlight, eventually hearing a faint whinnying noise.

The horses, a mare and a young male, had apparently walked across a shallow pond that had frozen over, with the male able to just step right over the little bit of barbed wire that was sticking up over the ice. But the 19-year-old mare’s hind legs broke through the ice, getting the old gal stuck for hours before being found in the reeds of the pond.

Ron used a jeep and ropes to try and pull “Blu” out of the pond. Virginia called 911 and, eventually, two police officers, along with truck after truck of volunteers, came to their house, an estimated eight local men in total.

Using manpower, they broke holes in the ice around the horse, estimated by Ron to be about five inches thick. They used straps and muscles to hoist Blu out of there.

Old Blu was unconscious by the time they broke her free. They dragged her to safety and put horse blankets on her. The volunteers were able to leave at about 3:30 in the morning, and Keller stayed up with her through the night, talking to her, letting her know he was there.

Although a little cut up, she is doing fine now. “She’s part of our ranch,” Virginia said.

“The landowners are reporting this incident to thank the group of men for helping the landowner and the old mare,” the Kellers wrote in a note to The Star. “Thank you to the great volunteers of our area that came to our rescue one cold winter night.”

“I love the place, love these volunteers,” Virginia said. “What can I say; we just live in the best place in the world.”

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