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One horse dead, three being rescued from Trabuco Canyon ravine

May 4, 2012 |  6:04 pm

Four horses fell off the side of a trail and into a ravine near Trabuco Canyon on Friday, leaving one horse dead and the other three in need of rescue, according to a spokesman with the U.S. Forest Service.

One horse has been airlifted out of the ravine off Horsethief Trail. A second is awaiting rescue, authorities said. The third horse, stuck in a different area, could potentially be walked out after officials cut a trail to the road, said Forest Service spokesman Brian Harris.

"We don’t have a lot of detail" about what caused the horses to fall, Harris said. "There’s no cellphone coverage down there."

About 18 personnel from three agencies are conducting the rescue operation, Harris said. He added that an animal rescue team from Norco is also on its way. That team specializes in equine rescues.

Harris said that no people were injured but that the condition of the three horses remains unclear.

Forest Service officials first got calls about the incident about 10:45 a.m., he said.



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-- Matt Stevens

Photos: (top) Rescuers transport JT Garoutte out of Blue Jay Campground. Garoutte was injured when he went down with his horse. His horse survived. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

(bottom) One of the rescued horses is led out. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times