Sinkhole swallows horse and rider in Missouri

Floridians are not the only ones with sinkhole concerns! In West Plains, Missouri, a 15-foot sinkhole swallowed a horse and its rider while out on a ride. The horse, named Big Boy, galloped around as though nothing happened after being pulled from the hole hours later. Fortunately, the rider was uninjured as well.

A horse named Little Big Man and his rider are doing well after falling into a sinkhole near West Plains. Sally Collins, who lives on a farm on County Road 8580, said her neighbor Mike Moore had some calves that got away from his property Friday. He rode over to her property to check for them.

“That’s when he rode across the sinkhole,” said Collins, who was unaware of the hole until the incident.

A happy ending

Collins said Moore was able to jump off the horse as Little Big Man was falling into the hole, which may have been more than 12 feet deep.

Shaken but not seriously hurt, he enlisted the help of another neighbor, who called the rural fire department to help rescue Little Big Man. About 15 people gathered to help or watch, Collins said. The hole was approximately four feet in diameter.

Crews got a backhoe and started digging trenches in hopes that Little Big Man could climb out, but eventually had to hoist him out with belts. When Little Big Man first made it out, he flopped on the ground, Collins said.

The rescue took about two hours.

“We were so afraid he was drastically hurt, at one point we thought his leg was broken,” she said.

But a farm hand pulled on Little Big Man’s reins, and he got right up. He only had a few cuts.

The News-Leader was unable to reach Moore. Collins said he was sore, but also doing well.

The sinkhole has been filled in, she said.

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