A PONY has been rescued by firefighters after getting trapped in a ditch.

The animal was found trapped at an equestrian centre in Colchester Road, Thorpe-le-Soken, on Wednesday morning.

Chelmsford's Animal Rescue Unit, Lexden's Swift Water Rescue team and firefighters from Weeley were called to the scene at about 8.40am.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: "On-call firefighters from Weeley attended, led by crew manager Mark Kilbey whose full-time job is an equestrian stud manager.

"He used his expertise to keep the retired schooling pony calm and reassure the owner until the Animal Rescue Unit and Swift Water Rescue team, requested due to the high water level in the ditch, arrived.

"They used specialist equipment to lift the pony to safety."

The pony was freed by 10.05am and left in the care of the owner and a vet.