A woman and her horse were home safe Thursday night after rescue crews hoisted the animal by helicopter that was stuck on the side of a mountain road in San Bernardino County.
Before noon, a 63-year-old rider and her horse fell approximately 300 feet and were stuck on a steep hillside at the Santa Ana River Trail in Angelus Oaks, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, according to county fire officials.
Crews requested a hoist-capable helicopter for the rescue of the woman and the animal, who were on a steep shale-covered chute. As the woman was ushered over the rocky terrain to safety, NewsChopper 4 was overhead the dramatic rescue of the approximately 1,200-pound, 15-year-old horse named "Jax."
Citing hydraulic failure of the county sheriff's air rescue helicopter, Jax's airlift was delayed for hours until officials enlisted the help of Los Angeles and Orange counties' fire departments.
Jax was sedated and placed in a harness before it was hoisted off the side of the road onto Highway 38 just after 6 p.m. It was safely loaded into a trailer with only minor cuts and scratches.
The fellow rider who was with the woman at the time of the fall said the trail suddenly gave way and couldn't do anything except watch in horror as her friend and Jax tumbled down the ravine.
The rider was taken to the hospital and suffered only some bruises and stitches to her leg.