A rider who saved 38 horses from a devastating stable fire has been given a commendation for bravery by the fire brigade.
Staffordshire Fire & Rescue presented Yasmine with the certificate at a ceremony on 14 August, praising her courage and quick thinking after fire broke out on 20 May.
Yasmine told H&H she sleeps in a caravan at Castle View Stud, where she works as a rider, and that something woke her in the early hours of the Sunday.
“It sounded like there was crackling,” she said. “Then I heard horses screaming. I went outside and everything was lit up.”
Yasmine went straight to the yard where she found one of the barns on fire. The blaze had started in an area used for storing caravans.
“The roof was coming down,” she said. “There were quite a few horses in there so I let out the ones closest to the fire, then ran to the main barn. The fire had come through to that and two stables were on fire.”
Yasmine managed to release most of these horses as well, then moved on to save two stallions.
“I got one out but of course couldn’t let him loose; luckily someone else took him and put him in a barn well out of the way so I went back in to get the other one,” she said.
“Horses were going absolutely mad, nearly going over the doors; it was pretty manic.
“It was really lucky because it spread quite quickly. There was quite thick smoke by the time I went back to the outside barn and I couldn’t see the ones at the back; I just had to let them out.
“One ran through some wire and got a nasty cut but that was really all the injuries; all the horses got out.”
One barn was patched up fairly quickly and Yasmine said the other is “work in progress” but should be back in working order next week.
Looking back, the 22-year-old said she started letting the horses out straight away as the burning roof was coming down into the stables.
“I was opening doors and the main thing in my head was, what if this isn’t as bad as I think and I’ve let out all the liveries; competition horses and some on box rest,” she said.
“I worried I was over-reacting, then gas canisters in the caravan bit started exploding, and I just went into autopilot.”
Yasmine praised the actions of the fire service, which sent a number of crews to the scene, but had not expected to be given the award.
“You like to think it’s the sort of thing anyone could do but it was really lovely to get the commendation,” she said.
Chief fire officer Becci Bryant said: “This incident could have so easily resulted in the death of many horses but thanks to Yasmine they were saved.
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“While we would never recommend entering a building that is on fire we must recognise Yasmine’s quick thinking and brave actions, which undoubtedly saved these horses and helped the firefighters during the incident.”
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