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Rider rescued after horse falls

A quick-thinking police officer borrowed a neighbor’s snowmobile to reach a woman who was injured after the horse she was riding slipped on the ice and tumbled down an embankment at a state park in Newburyport, authorities said.

The 19-year-old rider, whose horse rolled over her, was taken to Anna Jaques Hospital after the rescue Saturday afternoon at Maudslay State Park by Newburyport police and firefighters and Newbury police. She was treated and released the same day and is in good condition, said Lieutenant Mark Murray, a Newburyport police spokesman. He did not release the rider’s name.

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The injured rider’s friend, who was also riding a horse, called for help at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday. Responding rescuers faced two hurdles: locating the pair inside the park along the Merrimack River and rescuing the rider from the bottom of the snowy embankment before sundown.

“It’s a very large, large park, so obviously getting out there was difficult,” Murray said. “And they were fighting the daylight.”

After the woman was located, Newburyport police Officer Eric Marshall asked a neighbor if he could use the snowmobile to bring medical supplies to the victim. When he reached her, Marshall “gave her some medical attention, but realized it was going to be more difficult to get her out,” Murray said.

Newbury police were called to bring in their all-terrain-vehicle. “It looks like a tank with a bulldozer track, and it’s all enclosed and you can get a stretcher in there,” Murray said.

The vehicle traveled down the embankment and came back up with the injured rider. From there, the rider was lifted into an ambulance and taken to the hospital, Murray said.

The injured rider’s companion and both horses were uninjured.

Catalina Gaitan can be reached at catalina.gaitan@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @catalina_gaitan.
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