News

Horsewoman risks her life to save drowning horse

Murray and Mandy McKinnon with Millie, the 2-year-old mare.
Murray and Mandy McKinnon with Millie, the 2-year-old mare. Digby Hildreth

WHEN Mandy McKinnon heard a 'thunderous' splash at her family's horse training property in Mullum Creek she feared the worst.

Sure enough, when she hurried outside she saw one of her favourite horses, two-year-old mare Millie, in the middle of the swollen creek, struggling to keep her head above water and being swept downstream.

Millie's heavy canvas rug was dragging her under the storm-fed current and Mandy knew she had to act fast. She jumped into the two-metre deep torrent and swam to the drowning mare.

She ducked under the murky water and removed the rug from the horse, which was injured after hitting a tree on its headlong plunge, and 'panicking, but not being silly'.

Mandy, after summoning her father Murray with a "really loud" whistle, couldn't get Millie up the steep, slippery bank, so she wedged her front legs and chest in the fork of a tree in the water and out of the main flow.

Murray ran off to phone the neighbours who rushed to help, but it was 50 minutes before they got slings around the distressed mare - a task requiring Mandy, already freezing cold, to go underwater to secure them under her belly.

They then blindfolded Millie and lifted her out with an excavator. She was shocked and shaky but with no serious damage, was soon back on her feet.

A soaked Murray went and had a lie-down and Mandy thanked the stars for recent police academy fitness training she'd been doing - learning to swim fully clothed.

The McKinnons are not sure what spooked Millie but she had careered down a hill, not been able to pull up and leapt blindly into the flooded stream.

She had knocked out some teeth when she hit the tree and has a gash on her leg, but is recovering well and the McKinnons and their vet are confident she will go on to a racing career.

"She's a real trouper," Mandy said.

The same could be said of the 23-year-old horsewoman, who risked her own life to save her favourite mare's.



Surfer's shark tale: 'That's when it's come straight at me'

Pictured at Kingscliff this morning Rodney Clark has survived a Great White encounter.

"I lost sight of my son because a wave hit him"

Sleeping rough for Fred's Place

ALL RUGGED UP: From left, Lenny McLennan, Jason McDonald, Gerard Robinson, Gordon Rhodes and Stuart Burrows prepare for Fred's Place Sleep Out.

Tweed locals show support for homeless by sleeping outside in boxes.

Latest deals and offers

Babylon 5's Jerry Doyle has died

Jerry Doyle has died from unknown causes at the age of 60

Mum driver heroically ignores hilarious lip-syncing son

Hilarious moves while Mum concentrates on the road.

IF IT takes a village to raise a child, why aren't they driving?

Twitter adds dancing David Brent emoji

Ricky Gervais's character has its own emoji now

Cyndi Lauper opens up about mother's dementia

Cyndi Lauper says her mother Catrine has "a little dementia".

Lindsay Lohan 'calls off engagement'

Lohan reportedly called off her engagement to Russian millionaire

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started