Rider rescued, horse airlifted after 300-foot fall in San Bernardino National Forest

ANGELUS OAKS >> Firefighters successfully rescued a horse and its rider after they tumbled down a 300-foot ravine in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Shortly before noon Thursday, the rider and his horse were on the Santa Ana Trail when they tumbled down the ravine, officials said.

• Photos: Horse airlifted to safety in Angelus Oaks

The rider had been extricated from the canyon area, but the horse remained in the ravine until it could be sedated.

“The horse is approximately 1,200 pounds and needs to be sedated before the airship can lift it out,” San Bernardino County fire spokesman Ryan Vaccaro said. “The horse seems to be uninjured, but it can’t walk out on its own due to the steep walls of the canyon.”

Rancho Cucamonga Fire District’s Technical Rescue Team was on scene assisting county firefighters with the rescue.

“They specialize in confined space rescues, building collapse rescues, high angle rope rescues and large animal rescues,” spokeswoman Kelley Donaldson said.

After firefighters fitted the horse with a specially made harness, a Los Angeles County Fire rescue helicopter airlifted it to safety.

San Bernardino County air rescue pulled the rider from the ravine, but it had to abort the mission due to an emergency in the High Desert area, Vaccaro added.

The airship flew the horse to a designated landing zone on Highway 38 and lowered the steed safely to the ground.