CARMEL VALLEY, Calif -– The horse rider who fell down a trail Thursday with her horse and then rescued by firefighters and veterinarians is speaking out about the incident.
Cay Cowie and her horse Mackey fell off a steep trail and rolled into a ravine in a remote area in Carmel Valley.
“Mackey was going up and her front feet slipped,” Cowie said. “She went down on her knees and then when she tried to power out with her back legs, the mountain collapsed and we rolled down about 150 yards into really thick brush.”
Cowie says she called family and friends to see who would be able to rescue Mackey, but finally a hiker spotted them and called 911.
“They couldn’t really find me,” Cowie said. “And my grandson had left the beach with an axe and a saw to come save me. When he saw the helicopters, he directed them to where I was.”
Cowie says two first responders came down the mountain, assessed the situation and decided a helicopter would need to air lift Mackey, as they could neither go up or down.
San Diego Fire Rescue Department and San Diego Humane Society both assisted in the rescue.
“They helicoptered the vet in,” Cowie said. “My vet, he was wonderful, Dr. Sylverman, and he was able to assess that she was OK and stayed with her, just before they had to put the harness on her.”
Mackey was hoisted hundreds of feet in the air to a receiving area where responders calmed her down and put her in a trailer.
“She loaded into the trailer immediately, she was happy to come home,” Cowie said.
Cowie suffered skin tears and Mackey had scrapes on her knee due to the fall.
Mackey is a 14-year-old Peruvian Paso horse, which Cowie has trained since she was three.
“There is a relationship you have with your horse, and thank heavens I had that relationship with her when we were down there because she remained calm,” she said. “She depends on me and I depend on her, so remaining calm between the two of us is what is really good, and I love her.”