Women Rescue Horses Stranded on a Dutch Island

Without the women who volunteered, these horses may not have survived. Photo via Peter DeJong/Wyoming News

In 2006, what came to be known as the Great Netherlands Horse Rescue occurred. A strong storm had left the wilderness of Marrum, a small village in Friesland, Netherlands, full of sea water, causing a herd of at least 100 horses–some reports say up to 200 horses–to be trapped on a small area of land. They were there for three days, Elite Readers reports.

During that time 19 horses drowned; others became weak, due to the water and cold. Several rescues were attempted. However, a post on a horse forum asking for “experienced riders with horses without the fear of water,” resulted in the responses of several women. Norma Miedema, 40, led the rescue and she was the first one to answer the post, according to Elite Readers.

The group, which was comprised of seven women, met the next day to discuss how they were going to rescue the horses. These women rode horseback to the island and took the horses to higher ground. The last horse collapsed when it reached the shore, but was treated by veterinarians immediately.

As a result of the rescue, Miedema suffered from pneumonia, but she and none of the other women were willing to give up on the horses who needed rescuing. They were praised for their bravery in Marrum.



  1. What about the FIREFIGHTERS and emergency rescuers that took hay out to the animals and worked out what was the safest way to approach then return with the animals? What about the REST OF THE FREAKING STORY?

  2. My heart broke, when I saw their plight-=-=-what a brave and wonderful woman, to do this—the tears rolled, but then my smile started—hopefully they all got to homes or are being cared for by loving people—

  3. I think I have watched this video 50 times, and have bored people sharing it on Face Book. It is the most uplifting, moving film I have seen. The women who saved these beautiful creatures are simply amazing, heroines.


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