For Cody Scott, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save an animal's life — and an ordeal he says he hopes to never face again.
Scott, 20, was out on his snowmobile Monday afternoon looking for a neighbour's Clydesdale horse that had gone missing near the town of Rimbey, Alta.
He eventually found the black beauty submerged up to its neck in the icy waters of Lloyd Creek. The horse had fallen through the ice.
Scott said he made a quick trip home to call the RCMP and fire department, and returned to the horse with a few family members and friends to begin the rescue.
Two hours of pulling
The group worked tirelessly for more than two hours, using ropes and a halter tied around the horse's head and attached to a winch on Scott's Ski-Doo, but the giant Clydesdale was too big to budge.
Finally, Scott said he reached down into the water and managed to tie a rope around one of the horse's hoofs.
"We were able to grab that front foot and put it above the ice, which helped to get her second foot onto the ice," he told Red Deer News.
Firefighters and RCMP showed up soon after to assist in another hour of pulling, which helped haul the horse out.
Scott captured the dramatic rescue on a GoPro camera, and uploaded highlights of the footage to Facebook. (Watch the footage above.)
"Crying in my coffee...bunch of bigass burly angels. Love you for what you did. Hope the horse is ok after being in the cold water so long," Facebook user Jackie Jake commented underneath the dramatic footage.
Scott said he was thankful he was able to save the horse's life, but told Global News he'd "never come across this and hope to never again."