Vaught's Views: Bredar family saves horse from deep end of swimming pool
Ansley Bredar, a 2009 Mercer County graduate and former Danville Office Equipment Area Scholar Athlete of the Year, had to recently help her mother rescue Cheveyo after the horse fell into their swimming pool. (Submitted / December 7, 2012)
That trait got him in major trouble recently when he somehow managed to fall into the Bredar’s pool and was tangled in the pool cover and trap in the deep end of the pool.
“He was bleeding from his mouth, which really had us concerned. But it turned out that was due to a broken tooth,” Radonna Bredar said. “Ansley and I were here by ourselves. I jumped in to keep his head above water while she called 911. I am lucky after looking back that I did not get hurt by his thrashing hooves and drown. We kept his head above water till the fireman arrived.
“Somehow they managed to pull him out. There were a lot of rescue people, including animal control, here and I wanted to make sure they knew how grateful we were. I was so cold and panicked that I may not have thanked them all. I have the pool roped off with electric (fence) but sometimes horses do go through. We are not irresponsible owners.”
Fortunately, the horse, Cheveyo, was not seriously injured and had only a few pulled muscles. Still, it’s a few hours Bredar says she’ll never forget and neither will her daughter, a 2009 Mercer County graduate and a former Danville Office Equipment Area Scholar Athlete of the Year.
“Ansley was studying and I had planned to go to Shakertown to ride my horse later that morning. I had been in the field to feed that morning and turned the electric off. I either left the gate open or Cheveyo ran through, which he has done before,” Bredar said. “Ansley had come downstairs and was in den talking to me when she heard something. Next thing I hear is she is screaming that Cheveyo was in the pool.
“He was lying on his side kicking barely above water. I did the only thing I could think of. I jumped in and held his head above water while trying not to get kicked or drown. Ansley ran to get his halter and ropes and I was able to get that on him, so we could try to keep his head up. I then did what I always do. I told her to call her dad.
“I believe the first thing he said was how or why is he in the pool. He said he could not be back for an hour, so I think she gave up on that plan. She then called 911. She is talking to the dispatcher and the dogs are barking, horse is drowning and I am screaming for her to hurry. It was a little stressful. I had thought i could let one side of the tarp down and try to get his legs out but Ansley was afraid I was going to get hurt. I have never felt so helpless.”
The firemen who came got more ropes around the horse’s neck and he eventually they got him to the shallow end.
“Ansley stayed with him the whole time because she kept him calm and the guys were great to her and listened when she had suggestions on how to handle the horse,” Bredar said. “Once he was in shallow end, he started up the steps but fell back — which is when I think he hurt his leg. They finally got him out, but our pool steps come out right into the back porch. So there was this wide-eyed panicked horse and about six guys with no where to go.
“Thankfully by that point assistant chief Larry Broyles had shown up. His wife has horses so he and I were able to back him up and go through the door into the yard. He helped Ansley get him to barn and covered in blankets. He stayed with her till I could get there. One of the fireman told me I was getting hypothermic from being in the water, so I ran in and put dry clothes on.”
Bredar said the horses had never gone close to the pool before and that once he got on the tarp, there was no way he could avoid falling in the pool.
“I know I looked great. Barefoot, dripping water, shivering and in my fuzzy robe walking around and trying to help them get him out,” Bredar, 48, said. “I have not slept much since then because I keep having nightmares of drowning, but I was not going to let her horse drown. However, I was starting to lose hope until the fire department arrived.”
She said her husband, Bart, was “proud” of the way Ansley, a Centre College student, and her handled the difficult situation to help save the horse.
Once Bart got home an hour later everyone was gone and he was proud of the way we handled the situation.
“I have to say that I was so proud of Ansley. She stayed calm the entire time and did everything she could. Thankfully she did not get my pessimistic DNA or react to stress like I do. She was brilliant,” Bredar said. “Cheveyo is going to be OK and Ansley and I have found out that we are stronger than we thought both mentally and physically even though we are still sore from pulling on a 1,100-pound horse.
“There are still parts of that morning that I really don’t remember very well.I hope it was being in shock and not old age,” Bredar laughed and said.