A teenager was hospitalised after her horse stepped on a live wire and was electrocuted in Pretoria.
Pretoria Rekord reports that 17-year-old Zeldine Pretorius, a horse guide from Bon Accord Horse Trails, was scouting for new routes with her horse Kerneels when tragedy struck.
Scouting for new trails
Pretorius and a friend went riding in an open space along Rosslyn Road towards Brits, thinking it would make a good new route.
The trail was discovered the day before.
She suddenly felt a strong electrical shock, and she and her horse collapsed. Kerneels fell on top of Pretorius, with both stuck on top of the illegal power lines.
Once freed, Pretorius tried to help her horse, and was electrocuted a second time.
Kerneels died in the incident.
Illegal power connections
Pretorius’ mother Ansie said her daughter went riding every day, and that the incident was unexpected and traumatic.
“She is the head guide at Bon Accord Stables. They are always trying to find new routes they can take people on.
“Luckily she wasn’t alone; I can’t even think about it, what would have happened,” she told the publication.
Police and Tshwane emergency services were called to the scene, and Pretorius was taken to hospital for assessment.
Authorities confirmed the power cables were illegal connections leading to a nearby community. They said a case could not be opened, but the power connections were removed.
Rescuers had to wait for four hours for the Tshwane metro to disconnect power to the area to safely remove the cables to free Kerneels’ lifeless body.
Due to the high voltage three-phase power line, fire extinguishers had to be used to prevent Kerneels’ corpse from catching alight.
Horse was ‘like family’
Ansie said her daughter is recovering at home and is in a great deal of physical pain.
She said she was also struggling mentally after losing her horse, who she said was like a family member to them.
Zeldine’s sister Anchen said that Kerneels was a rescue horse who was only about six years old, and that Zeldine and her horse were inseparable.
“Zeldine had this horse for just almost a year, and since she got this horse she did better at school, she had more self-esteem and she did better in life,” Ansie said.
Edited by Nica Richards.