on a patch of grass and fell 7 feet onto stone slabs.
"I thought I killed him," she said. "His back could have been
broken, or he could have broken something else and had to be put to
sleep. Luckily, he landed on his feet and didn't collapse."
Veterinarian Christopher Smith, who cares for the horse, rushed to
the scene and determined that the horse suffered no major injuries
but was slightly banged up.
After hearing Musson's cries for help, Silver Spur employee
Bethany Layport called 911 and led rescue workers to the trapped
horse. Smith gave Pax a tranquilizer to keep him calm while Los
Angeles Animal Services and Glendale, Burbank and Los Angeles fire
departments hoisted him out of the wash with a crane and sling,
animal services Capt. Karen Knipscheer said.
"[Musson] shouldn't have been that close to the wash," Knipscheer
said. "You aren't supposed to go on the other side of the fence.
That's why it's there."
Pax was the sixth horse animal services has saved so far this
year, Knipscheer said . A few weeks ago, a horse had to be rescued in
Griffith Park after falling off the side of a muddy cliff.
Before rescue workers arrived, Layport climbed into the wash and
sat next to Pax to ease his nerves.
"The fact that he hadn't killed himself was a miracle, because it
was a high fall and a hard fall," said Layport, who has worked at
Silver Spur for two years.
Suzanne Peika, a friend of Musson's who comforted her while Pax
was being rescued, said another horse fell into the wash about five
years ago but also wasn't seriously hurt.
"The fence is great, but it's not close enough to the wash," Peika
said. "Because of all the mud on the trail, people go around it, and
it puts them in jeopardy."
There will now be one less person -- and horse -- going outside
that boundary, Musson said.
"This is a wake-up call to always be careful and just stay on the
right side of the fence, no matter how muddy it gets," she said.
* JACKSON BELL covers public safety and courts. He may be reached
at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.