A TEAM of firefighters and policemen pulled a drowning horse to safety early yesterday morning.

The horse had fallen into a small, but deep, beck in a field opposite Tanfield Comprehensive School, at Tanfield, near Stanley.

Police had been unable to release the horse, which was up to its neck in water, and called the fire brigade.

Sergeant Chris Philpott, of Stanley police, said the horse was fine once it was released, at about 7.40am, after more than half an hour.

He said: "It was a passing motorist who alerted us and we went out to try to set it free. It took some doing, but I'm happy to say that it was fine in the end."