Firefighters were called to assist in an unusual rescue Sunday night. A horse named Ronnie-Joe had escaped from her pasture near West Montrose, and fallen into an underground water tank.

Ronnie-Joe's owners said she broke through a wooden lid which covered a 2.5-foot square opening leading to the tank. Only part of her head and one hoof were visible above ground.

The 24-year old mare was stuck in the hole for hours as rescue crews tried to remove her. A veterinarian was called in to help crews safely remove Ronnie-Joe.

"The horse can only survive in there so long," said Ken Boys, Centre Wellington Fire District Chief. "It's cold, it's traumatized, it started to jump around and actually the horse was starting to slip away."

Firefighter Steve Hamilton said their experience and training at the Elora Gorge helped in the rescue. "We took some of our high angle experiences and worked them into the equation and it worked out perfect."

The exhausted horse had hypothermia, but is expected to make a full recovery.