West Tisbury fire and police personnel banded together Friday morning to rescue a horse from a swimming pool.

Assistant fire chief Greg Pachico said he received a phone call Friday morning that a horse had gotten free from his containment area and fallen through a cover on a pool on Merry Farm Road in West Tisbury.

The horse, named Max, was standing about chest-height in the water and was “very calm,” Mr. Pachico said. Max was wearing a horse blanket.

A couple of leads were put on the horse and personnel stood behind the horse holding straps to guide him forward, Mr. Pachico said. The group did the best to have the horse walk out on its own, Mr. Pachico said, and finally with some coaxing the horse ended up walking up the stairs and out of the pool.

Mr. Pachicio estimated the rescue took about 40 minutes. West Tisbury police posted a video on their Facebook page.


The owners of the horse and the pool were not immediately known, Mr. Pachico and West Tisbury police said.

West Tisbury police and Aquinnah fire chief Simon Bollin were on hand, Mr. Pachico said, and assistance also came from John Keene Excavation and Hinckley Home center, which offered the use of a boom truck to hoist the horse out of the pool if needed. A veterinarian was also on site to provide assistance.

Mr. Pachico said he thought the horse was fine, though probably cold. He said the horse was led away, “probably to a nice warm barn or something.”

“Our biggest concern was getting the horse out in a timely matter,” Mr. Pachico said. “Without hurting him.”

Rescue personnel had an idea of how to handle the situation, he said. “We’ve dealt with a small horse in a dry well and dealt with a horse in a pond before,” he said. “Unfortunately we do have a little experience, we do have a little bit of an idea [of what to do].”

“The guys worked great together, did a very job communicating with each other,” he said.

Mr. Pachico said one police officer in particular was skilled at working with the frightened horse. “Officer Skipper Manter did an excellent job on keeping the horse itself calm," he said. "That’s why we call him the horse whisperer.”

“We put some straps on it and everybody pulled,” Sgt. Jeffrey (Skipper) Manter 3rd said. “It climbed out.”

Sergeant Manter said the horse was walked around a bit to get the circulation going in its legs before heading back to the barn.

“I try to be helpful,” Sergeant Manter said. “I was just trying to calm it down, that’s all.”

His help might have earned him a new name. “He is now Sergeant Horse Whisperer,” West Tisbury police chief Dan Rossi said.