VALE, NC --Volunteer firefighters used a backhoe to carve a path out of a swollen river for a trapped horse in western North Carolina Thursday morning.
Cell phone video shows members of the Union Fire Department with the horse in the South Fork Catawba River between Vale and Lincolnton.
The owner of the 15-year-old horse called Peyton said she found him in the river with just his head above water.
"I don't know what I would have done if everybody hadn't showed up. He's the best thing that I've got besides my husband," said Vicky Jarrett.
Peyton couldn't climb the steep bank of the river, and with more rain on the way, firefighters were worried he might get swept downstream.
They used the backhoe to cut a path in the riverbank that was smooth enough for him to climb out.
Peyton just suffered a few scratches but is otherwise okay.