Fire wreaks havoc

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LAST week a fire engulfed the Border Equestrian Club (BEC), seriously injuring one person and causing damage worth over R400000.

TRAGIC AFTERMATH: The Border Equestrian Club was left to count the cost after a fire ripped through their premises at the Gonubie Showgrounds recently. The fire left groundskeeper Mafuta Pardon with third-degree burns and the club with a loss of about R400000 Pictures: SUPPLIED

The fire saw groundskeeper Mafuta Pardon sustain third-degree burns and the club lose 18 stables and equipment worth over R400000.

“Pardon was on site and unfortunately he did sustain third-degree burns to 25% of his body. He is currently in hospital and doing well, considering [what he went through”],” BEC secretary and show convenor Barbara Venables said.

“Pardon is an integral part of our club and the Border Equestrian family, he is loved by all and we pray for his full and speedy recovery,” she said.

The fire started in the Border Equestrian Club’s container where their tractor is housed. The flames started near the door and soon spread to the surrounding shed and stables.

It is still not known what started the fire and unfortunately arson cannot be ruled out. Investigations will be undertaken in an attempt to find the cause of the fire.

TRAGIC AFTERMATH: The Border Equestrian Club was left to count the cost after a fire ripped through their premises at the Gonubie Showgrounds recently. The fire left groundskeeper Mafuta Pardon with third-degree burns and the club with a loss of about R400000 Pictures: SUPPLIED

“We lost our jumping shed with all our jumping poles, wings, fillers and panels. We purchased new rustic jumps in April and sadly all of these were lost. We also lost our jump cups, numbers, flags, dressage numbers and power tools. Our container, tractor, bushcutter and mower were also all destroyed,” she said.

Although the fire department responded timeously, the first ambulance company that was called to the scene, refused to dispatch an ambulance without payment.

“We thank the firefighters for containing the fire as well as they did. Had they not arrived within the time-frame which they did, the extent of the damage would have undoubtedly been far worse,” Venables said.

“Alderson’s Ambulance [Services] must be commended for their willingness to attend to the emergency and arrived on the scene in under 10 minutes after I placed the call to them. Their medics were incredible in stabilising and treating Pardon on site before transferring him to hospital.”

TRAGIC AFTERMATH: The Border Equestrian Club was left to count the cost after a fire ripped through their premises at the Gonubie Showgrounds recently. The fire left groundskeeper Mafuta Pardon with third-degree burns and the club with a loss of about R400000 Pictures: SUPPLIED

The BEC are set to host a very prestigious national showjumping competition in August and are confident that they, with the help of the public, will be able to rebuild in time.

The club is offering free advertising around their main show jumping arena to companies for a period of one year in exchange for payment for any equipment, donations or sponsorships they are willing to offer.

“We know that when tragedy strikes, our members and the general public are always willing to help where they can. We are hoping to have the club and equipment fully restored within a month.

“We are deeply shocked by the fire at our club, but we are confident we will rebuild and be better than before,” Venables said.

If anyone is able and willing to assist the Border Equestrian Club, please contact Barbara Venables on 072-532-1574 or at border.equestrian.club@gmail.com

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