CHESTER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – As we reported earlier this week Gaston Farm Road Equestrian Center’s barn caught fire, killing a horse and leaving the family with thousands of dollars in damages. Since the blaze on Wednesday, the community has rallied coming together to collect donations for the farm so they can continue giving lessons.
A barn fire this past Wednesday, left the Gaston Farm Road Equestrian Center’s family and community in disbelief. This center has served Chester County’s community for 15 years, providing public lessons and helping those of all abilities learn to ride. At the center of that, was Jet. Family members say he was a gentle horse that was loved by all.
JoBeth Holmes, a part of the Gaston Farm Road Equestrian Center family, says, “He’s actually been here since the start of the farm, since we were in the little 18-wheeler trailer he was here. And yes here when it was built, he’s been here for the past 15 years, he was loved by so many children and it was like, when you come for your first lesson, you ride Jet.”
Family members sharing that this is where Jet spent his last moments. At just 30 y/o they say he was the heart and joy of the farm.
“Everyone loved him. He was, he was seriously just the best horse. I mean you probably can’t find them like him anymore. He was a golden boy, he was good,” says Holmes.
Reflecting on her own time at the center, is 14-year-old Emma Halliday. She says the center saved her life.
“It saved me. I was on that road of drugs, just being in person not a good person, violence, stuff like that and coming out here saved me.”
Emma says she’s personally grateful for the support the community has shown, helping the family continue their calling.
“Thank you. I mean this is a lot of people’s home and we probably would have a very hard time without it. There’s no words, thank you, we’ve gotten a bunch of donations, probably like three trailers full, it’s amazing,” says Halliday.
Right now, the family says they don’t know when they’ll resume lessons — having lost most of their equipment in the fire. They say the community has been understanding and supportive.
“I don’t even I don’t think thank you is the right word to say to anyone. I mean thank you, thank you, thank you. We are so grateful,” says Holmes.
The family is continuing to get donations. A list of the family’s biggest needs right now will be posted on CN2.com’s featured links page and on the center’s social media. Two trailers are out of the family’s farm — they’re accepting donations from 9 AM to 5 PM.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with the family as they pick up the pieces.