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Yuba City resident Ginny Paschke was riding her horse when the animal was startled and both ended up falling into a flooded canal. She wants to thank the two strangers who helped her escape uninjured Tuesday afternoon.

After a horse riding incident sent Ginny Paschke into canal waters Tuesday afternoon, the Yuba City resident wants to thank the two strangers who helped save her and her horse from potential tragedy.

Paschke was doing what she always does, riding her trusty horse, Kas, on a trail by the Sutter County extension canal which snakes along the edge of her Yuba City property. She was leading her other horse, Pele.  

Kas was spooked by two young women near the trail and both horses and the rider tumbled into the canal. 

“He basically backed in, ‘cause he was losing his footing, lost his hind feet and ended up in the water,” Paschke said. 

As Paschke was in the deep, moving water, she said she remembered the warning she gave to her own son when they moved to the property in 1974, “if you get in the water, you swim and you let the current carry you as you work your way to the side.”

As she was trying to escape up the side of the canal, one of the two women, who she identified as “Jennifer” jumped into the water and helped Paschke get out. 

Once out of the canal, she and Jennifer worked to help Kas escape. Paschke said she was impressed with how Jennifer and the other woman who she thought was named “Amy” conducted themselves, jumping in to save her, keeping her horses calm and then walking with Paschke and the horses back to her house. 

“Mature, adult, they knew what they were doing with animals they knew how to conduct, you know, a rescue,” Paschke said. 

By the time she went into her house to change out of wet clothes, she said the women were gone, and while she and husband Ernie Paschke tried to drive after them, they were too late. 

Although her phone and watch are ruined from the water, Paschke and horse Kas walked away uninjured, which the 77-year-old says is a testament to good luck and timing. 

“That’s very lucky that I wasn’t tangled in a rope or you know, got my foot stuck in a stirrup,” Paschke said noting she always wears a helmet and takes precautions when riding. “Awful things could have happened.”

The lifelong horse rider and animal lover said she was grateful she was uninjured so she could go on a beach trip with Pele next week. As for Kas, she took the 24-year-old horse out for a walk Wednesday afternoon by the canal to reintroduce him. 

Grateful to the strangers who helped her in a crisis, Paschke hopes she can connect with the two young women who helped her, and express her thanks. 

“I’m hoping to find them and tell them thank you very much,” Paschke said. “I can’t tell ‘em how much I appreciate what they did.”

Anyone with information about the two women can email nschedler@appealdemocrat.com; information will be forwarded to Paschke.

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