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Pony rescued after pool plunge

A stray pony sparked an unusual rescue operation after plunging through the hard cover of a swimming pool and getting stuck.

It was found up to its neck in the shallow end of the pool in Marsh Lane, Runcton, near Chichester, West Sussex, on Thursday morning.

Firefighters and the RSPCA were called out to the stricken animal at around 7.30am before a rescue operation swung into place.

Several thousand gallons of swimming pool water had to be pumped out before the pony was led around to the steps.

Hay was strewn around the pool to make the animal more comfortable before it stepped out.

RSPCA animal welfare officer Marie Stevens said: "We had a vet on standby to check him over and he started eating straight away, so we knew he was not too troubled by his watery adventure."

The RSPCA said the pony's short-term care had been arranged but anyone who recognises it or knows its owner is asked to call 0300 123 8018.

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