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Foals rush in where angels fear to tread: Swiss military test helicopter horse evacuation procedure

Published: 09th April, 2021 at 17:49
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No need for long faces here - Swiss military trial a new method of transporting injured horses to vets using Super Puma helicopters.

Giddy up! A team of vets based at the Vetsuisse Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Saignelegier, Switzerland, have teamed up with the Swiss army to trial a new method of transporting and evacuating injured horses via helicopter.

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Champing at the bit

Vets prepare three horses before they are airlifted during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter in Saignelegier on April 9, 2021. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Vets prepare three horses before they are airlifted as part of the training exercise. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Hoist that horse!

A picture taken on April 9, 2021 in Saignelegier shows a horse being airlifted during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The exercise took place on 9 April 2021 in Saignelegier in Jura, Switzerland. The project aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Hold your horses

A picture taken on April 9, 2021 in Saignelegier shows a horse being airlifted during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The horses were fitted with a specially designed harness to keep them comfortable on their journeys. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Don't spare the horses!

A picture taken on April 9, 2021 in Saignelegier shows three horses being airlifted together during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The Super Puma helicopters were able to transport the horses without causing them unnecessary distress. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Who ordered the life-sized pinata?

TOPSHOT - A picture taken on April 9, 2021 in Saignelegier shows three horses being airlifted together during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
The horses remained calm throughout the trip. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Triple threat

TOPSHOT - Three horses are about to touch ground after being airlifted during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter in Saignelegier on April 9, 2021. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
A group of three horses successfully complete their trip. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Get off your high horse

A horse is about to touch ground after being airlifted during a test by Swiss army forces on hoisting horses with a helicopter in Saignelegier on April 9, 2021. - The scientific project, carried out by the Vetsuisse faculty of veterinary medicine and the Swiss army veterinary service, aims at transporting and rapidly evacuating injured horses to a medical veterinary infrastructure. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
A solo horse touches down. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP Getty Images

Authors

James CutmorePicture Editor, BBC Science Focus

James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs

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