NEAR AUBURN, Wash. - Special tactical teams from around South King County rescued a woman and her horse after they fell 20 feet down a hillside near Auburn Monday evening.
Around 7:00 p.m. crews were called to an area near an equestrian center off 168th Avenue Southeast, just north of the White River Amphitheater.
When they arrived, several other riders were already on scene trying to cut away branches and limbs to reach the rider.
Rescuers used a series of ropes and pulleys and a special basket to hoist the woman up the hillside.
Firefighters said the woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with critical injuries.
Crews believe the horse may have been spooked while the woman was riding in a a wooded trail area near the equestrian center. They think the horse may have stepped backwards, then lost its footing and fell 20 to 25 feet down the embankment.
The Washington State Animal Response team was called in to help rescue the horse named Havana. Rescuers said the 6-year-old horse doesn't appear to have any visible injuries.
She was hoisted out of the ravine and brought to safety.
Rescuers said Havana was walking on her own after being trapped down the embankment for about four hours.