A couple of horses got the rides of their lives Friday when they were lifted out of a Trabuco Canyon ravine by a helicopter.
They were among four horses on West Horsethief Trail that tumbled into the ravine in the Cleveland National Forest. One of the horses died from its injuries and was left behind. Another, which got separated from the others, was led out on foot after rescuers cut a trail for it.
The two others were tranquilized, hoisted above the landscape and flown at about 50 mph to the safety of an open field where they appeared to be no worse for wear physically. The horses did receive veterinary care.
The animals were part of a scheduled four-day ride that began in San Juan Capistrano and was to end in the Corona/Norco area, said Brian Harris of the United States Forest Service. The horses fell off the trail about 10:45 a.m., but it was unclear how it actually happened, according to Harris.
Three riders were in the ravine and were hoisted to safety by helicopter.
"They were not injured, but they were exhausted," explained Harris.
The Orange County Fire Authority lent a couple of helicopters to the search, OCFA Capt. Marc Stone said.
An animal rescue team from Norco that specializes in rescuing cows that fall into ravines also responded.
—City News Service