If not for the passion of East Kingston Fire Chief Edward Warren, Wednesday's uprighting of a fallen horse may have had a much different outcome.

Warren's department responded around 5:15 p.m. after Pearl, a 1,900 pound draft horse, fell after she lost her footing in the melting ice and mud at Hidden Hollow Farm in Kingston.  Upwards of 50 people showed up to the farm after Shawna Merritt, whose mother owns Pearl, put a call out for help via Facebook.  But it was Warren and his crew that got the job done.

Pearl, who was rescued from Amish country in June, was laying in ice and there was concern hypothermia would set in. But Warren saw the fight in Pearl as she struggled to stand but was getting tired instead.

"Pets are like family, and you could tell by the look on the owner's face how important this was to her. Plus there were bystanders standing there, and everybody was afraid they wanted to put the horse down and I told her that wasn't an option," Warren told Seacoast Current.

"That horse was fighting to stay alive so I was going to help her do just that, no matter what it took," Warren said.

Pearl on the ground at Hidden Hollow Farm in Kingston
Pearl on the ground at Hidden Hollow Farm in Kingston (East Kingston Fire Department)

Sizing Up The Situation

Warren said that the first task was to determine what resources he had to work with, which included bringing in Patriot Equine Rescue of Topsfield and his own department. The next task was keeping calm those who showed up to help.

"You're best to keep the situation as calm as you can not only for the horse, but if you're out of control and you're hyper then the owner is going to be hyper and you're just going to make everything worse," Warren said. "If you don't, everyone starts jumping in wanting to do their own thing and I didn't want to risk hurting the horse."

He was aware of Pearl's history of a plow horse and shares the Merritt family's wish to give her the best life she can while under their care.

"I wasn't going to let the end be because she slipped and fell. I slip and fall I don't want anyone to leave me there," Warren said.

Pearl after she was stood back up after a fall.
Pearl after she was stood back up after a fall. (East Kingston Fire Department)

Passionate About Animals and His Town

Warren said he is a dog owner and understands the love and passion people have for their pets.

Warren also has a love for the town of East Kingston, where he's been chief since 2010 and in emergency services since 1982.

"I am very passionate about animals in general and I am even more passionate about the town and the people I serve. I never ask an address of where somebody's from. If they're in my town they deserve 110% of my effort or I shouldn't have the job," Warren said.

Merritt and Warren visited with Pearl on Saturday morning and both said she continues to be healthy following her ordeal.

"She's doing great," Warren said.

East Kingston Fire Chief Ed Warren with Pearl
East Kingston Fire Chief Ed Warren with Pearl (Ed Warren)

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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