Exhibition grounds open up as shelter for horses


  • <p>Kevin McBain PHOTO</p><p>Cindy Wamboldt (left) with one of her 16 horses that she brought in for safety reasons to the South Shore Exhibition grounds that were opened up to her and others by manager Tammy Rowter (right). A fire on the New Elm Road in Chelsea, had started near her place Tuesday.</p>

CHELSEA - A woods fire on New Elm Road in Chelsea forced a stable owner to scramble to look for alternate accommodations for her 16 horses on May 16.

Cindy Wamboldt, owner of Skyline Stables, said the smoke and potential of fire creeping closer to her home from her neighbour's yard, prompted her to call on Tammy Rowter, manager of the South Shore Exhibition.

"When they started to bring the helicopters in to drop water, an RCMP officer looked at me and asked 'how soon, if need be that you have to evacuate, can you evacuate your 16 horses?'" she saId. "I was like I'm just going to do it now before it gets worse. They did have it contained at that point, but I was concerned about a flair up in the middle of the night."

That was when Wamboldt reached out Rowter and asked about bringing in her horses. She then reached out through social media for help and within a half-an-hour, she said there were five trailers in her yard ready to haul the horses away. She also had offers to help from many others and from as far away as Truro.

When they arrived to the grounds, staff and volunteers had 16 stables ready for the animals and other volunteers stepped up to bring hay and food as well.

"I'm very grateful for the horse community and the South Shore Exhibition for allowing me to haul in the horses, it could have been worse, but it wasn't, and I would rather play the cautious side with the horses," said Wamboldt.

Rowter said that Wamboldt is a "huge supporter of the exhibition" and noted that she is on the board of directors. When opening the grounds up for Wamboldt, the grounds were also made available for anyone else that may need a safe haven.

"The grounds are here. We are community based. We're supported by the community, so we need to give back also," said Rowter. "It doesn't matter if people need a spot for animals, campers or whatever, we can take people in."

Wamboldt returned to her home after spending the night in her camper and said all was well and she was heading back home with her horses later that morning with some help from her friends.

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