GOOSE CREEK – A horse named Georgia and the teenager riding her in the hills off US 460 East both escaped without injuries after the horse fell through an old, abandoned well.
On Friday, April 16, 15-year-old Kaylee Tackett was riding Georgia on the hill, along with her friend, Alex Arnett, across from Red Tack Top Shop, owned by her family. She has been around horses her whole life and her mom, Carolyn Tackett, said they had ridden all over that area for years, never knowing there was a well there.
Five-year-old Georgia fell completely into the abandoned well, with only her head visible. Kaylee was able to jump off the horse as it went down, but Georgia was completely stuck.
“She was a pro,” Tackett said about the horse. “They’re trained to not be afraid of anything, and she remained so calm. She never moved and waited for help. For her to be such a young horse, she handled it like a pro.”
The Magoffin County Rescue Squad was called, and the team deployed their animal rescue trailer, which was purchased initially for animal rescues on the Dawkins Line Rail Trail, though it is used throughout the county as needed.
Rescue Squad Captain Carter Conley said they were in such a remote area, they couldn’t get a tractor or lift up there, so they sent the equipment – pulling straps, ropes and a come-along rescue tool, but their come-along wasn’t strong enough for the weight of the horse.
They called in the Oil Springs Volunteer Fire Department, who had a heavier come-along, put a rope over a nearby tree, and were able to use the manual tools and manpower of the responders to lift the horse out of the hole.
“Our guys pulled and pulled, and it finally broke loose and came right out of the hole,” Conley said. “The horse was getting weak, but we were able to make one gigantic pull and the horse had one last pull in it.”
After being in the well close to two hours and a 45-minute active rescue scene, Georgia was rescued, escaping the ordeal with a couple of scrapes on her back feet. A vet was called to check her out and she was covered with blankets, though she was already eating while still on the hill.
“She’s perfectly fine, thank God,” Tackett said. “My daughter bailed off as soon as she went down, so she’s fine, too. We were blessed. If she had went into that hole with the horse, she would have been killed.”
Tackett also noted that people need to be aware of other abandoned wells in the area.
“We had all no-doubt walked over top of this well for years and never knew it existed,” Tackett said. “I have another friend who fell in an old well while coon hunting several years ago. These old homesteads are long gone, but there are still wells up there.”
Tackett thanked the rescue squad and her daughter’s friend, Alex Arnett, who was able to keep her calm, adding that she appreciates all of them.
“This is what this trailer is designed for, but we did go ahead and purchase a heavier come-along, which we’ll have shortly, in case we ever need it, again,” Conley said.