Girl rescues 15 horses in barn fire, but loses her own
Aug 30, 2011 – 1:48 PM ET
By Stephen Llewellyn
FREDERICTON — Shanita Fox-Pelletier helped save 15 horses when the barn at Fredericton’s Royal Road Equestrian Centre went up in flames early Monday morning.
But, tragically, the 17-year-old girl wasn’t able to rescue her beloved horse Kingston.
Her mother Sharon, who also helped save the horses, was taken to hospital because of health problems she experienced after inhaling smoke during the rescue effort.
Fox-Pelletier and her mother were sleeping in an apartment over the giant barn on Royal Road, just outside Fredericton, when they were awakened by dogs barking and the smell of smoke.
“I was half awake,” she said in an interview at the site of the ruined barn Monday morning.
She called 9-1-1 and then started rescuing horses.
“We ran straight to the back and got the horses from the back first,” said Fox-Pelletier, who has been riding since she was six.
“But, sadly, by the time I got to the back of the barn my horse’s stall was already completely engulfed in flames and the ceiling crashed down on top of him.”
She said when the smoke got too intense, she had to run outside to get fresh air. When she had recovered, she ran back inside and saved as many horses as she could.
“We got all the horses out but him and two others,” she said.
The barn was burning fiercely during the rescue.
“The entire right side of the barn was in flames,” she said.
“The back of the left side had started flaming up. The flames must have spread along the back side of the barn. In minutes, it was totally on fire and within minutes, it totally fell over.”
Fox-Pelletier said she managed to remain calm as she was rescuing the horses.
“I wasn’t scared when I ran in to get the horses because I’ve been taught to keep my cool for something like that. I got as many horses out as I could and then when the fire department arrived, we got out of the way and let them get to work. Then I was afraid because my horse was inside at the time and he never got out.”
She said the horses being rescued also remained calm.
“None of them were screaming or kicking or making a big fuss.”
She said her mother is going to be OK and Kingston, who she owned for two years, was insured.
“I’m really numb at the moment,” said Fox-Pelletier. “I cried a lot. It’s really hard to look at that fire and remember he died in that.”
She said Kingston was a great horse who was playful around children and could do tricks.
“He was like a big dog,” she said, adding she will buy a new horse.
Fredericton Daily Gleaner
Today, the horses wish me to post the acupressure points for trauma and post traumatic shock disorder or PTSD. I got to talk to one of the horses who was rescued by this incredible girl. He considers himself a miracle horse, he has been recovering well and assured me that he was okay mentally and spiritually with the fire. Some of his fellow barn mates, he fears, aren’t coping as well with the memory of the incident. He is concerned about his friends and requested that I post these points in the hopes that they will help them. On all the horses behalf, I would like to thank Shanita Fox-Pelletier and all the kind, generous people who have donated tack, food, hay, comfort and other essentials to these horses. These points are also super beneficial for horses, who have experienced accidents, abuse or any other traumatic incident.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art developed in Asia over 3,000 years ago, using the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension, and promote the circulation of blood and the body’s life force energy (Qi or chi) to promote health and healing. Using the same points as Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupressure applies a comfortable range of pressure from gentle to firm. Acupressure is safe, non-toxic and definitely habit forming… And the horses absolutely love it!
To perform acupressure, place the ball of your thumb or middle finger on the acupressure point. Gently apply direct pressure (approximately 2-4 pounds of pressure) to the point while exhaling. Use prolonged pressure directly on the point; gradual, steady, penetrating pressure for approximately three minutes is ideal. Slowly release the point while inhaling and move on to the next point. Use and trust your intuition as the horse will often guide you and direct you on the length of time and amount of pressure they desire. As you are working with a horse who has experienced trauma, move slowly and be aware of breathing deeply and slowly. Your relaxed breathing will help relax and calm the horse, making them more receptive to the benefits of acupressure. Even gently messaging in the areas where the points are located will help them release the memory of the incident, calm their spirit and relax stress and tension in their bodies.