FIRE crews have rescued a huge shire horse who became stuck in mud and found himself unable to get up.

The horse - 15-year-old Billy - is back on his feet after firefighters placed two straps around his body and gently lifted him up using a small crane.

The rescue was carried out at a property in Fryern Court Road. Burgate.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) spokesman said: "During the night Billy became stuck in mud. He managed to get to a dry area but was so exhausted he couldn't get to his feet."

HFRS staff were alerted just before 10am today.

Crews from three fire stations in the Forest - Brockenhurst, Fordingbridge and Lyndhurst - were joined by a vet and an animal rescue team. Colleagues from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service also took part in the rescue operation.

Firefighters were at the scene for more than two hours.