Lucky the horse recovering after intense mud rescue

A horse named Lucky has certainly lived up to his name, being rescued after getting stuck up to his neck in mud during the flooding in Christchurch over the weekend.

Trapped in mud and unable to move, firefighters tried to drag Lucky out using a 1 tonne digger, ropes and a sheet of plywood to keep his head above water.

The 24-year-old gelding was trapped in metres of deep mud in his flooded Port Hills paddock, which was acting more like quicksand.

After an hour, tired firefighters tried one final attempt to get Lucky to safety.

"We'd decided that we would use a rope tied to the digger with two big stropes... one tied around the front half one around the neck and front legs and one around the back," firefighter Tony Price told Newshub.

"The idea was it would just slide across the mud until we hit the hard standing."

And it worked. Lucky was pulled to safety, free from the mud at last, and quickly got onto his feet again.

Now 36 hours later, Lucky has been reunited with his owner and has been happily grazing and recovering in a paddock.

His owner, Jane Nuttridge, was out of town when it happened and feared for Lucky's life.

"I'm so grateful to everyone. The fire brigade, the SPCA, the neighbours who did an amazing job organising everything, my mum and my paddock mates and everyone who pitched in and made it all good," she told Newshub.

Lucky is now safe and sound, living up to his name.