Photo by Ben Furtado
Auburnjournal.com - Full Article and more photos
By Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
Owner says words cannot describe her relief
Emergency crews flew a 1,100-pound horse out of the canyon near Cool Thursday after the horse and its owner were trapped overnight.
Owner Alicia Hutcheson's voice quavered as she described the terrifying ordeal she and her 8-year-old paint-thoroughbred-cross horse Natasha endured when they were caught in the American River's strong current.
On Thursday, Hutcheson and Natasha were on firm ground surrounded by the crews that rescued them.
Hutcheson said Wednesday afternoon she and a friend decided to go for a ride in the canyon. She was sitting atop Natasha, who was about knee deep in the river to cool her legs, when the ground below gave away.
Hutcheson said Natasha was spooked and lunged forward, taking them both into the current as Natasha thrashed in the water until she was trapped in branches. It was at that point Hutcheson said she was certain death was imminent.
"She started flopping sideways," Hutcheson recalled. "Then I saw the sparkle go out of her eyes."