South Coast equestrians and their families were among the country’s leading junior equestrians and over 500 horses who were forced to evacuate the South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA) Nationals following a veld fire threat in Pretoria on Thursday.
Cyan Jolliffe, Jenna Unsworth, Breece Orsmond, Rachel and Caitlin Upfold and Nicole Higson, members of the KwaZulu Natal Schools Equestrian team, were caught up in the drama, which saw horses running frantically on the main road according to eye witnesses.
An unidentified girl was kicked in the stomach by a panicking horse and received medical attention from the medics on the scene.
A SANESA statement read: “There was a fire in the Rayton/Rietfontein area which circled Misty Meadows. Misty Meadows HAS NOT BURNT DOWN as rumoured but all safety precautions were taken, the classes postponed and horses moved to safety.
“Thank you to all the wonderful parents, riders and grooms who took it upon themselves to look after horses that were not their responsibility. WE SALUTE YOU.
“We are holding an emergency meeting where we will finalise the running of the classes over Friday and Saturday but no major changes are expected.”