Horses devoted to each other for 20 years die tragically in lightning bolt

Violet and Dawn were devoted to each other for nearly 30 years - and died tragically together.
Violet and Dawn were devoted to each other for nearly 30 years - and died tragically together.

Two horses who have been inseparable for 20 years died tragically after being struck by a lightning bolt in last week's storm.

A week's worth of rain fell in a few hours on Tuesday night, leaving residents in the Wainfllet area concerned there would be a repeat of the June floods.

Violet and Dawn with Dawn's daughter.

Violet and Dawn with Dawn's daughter.

Although the banks held there was heartbreak awaiting Zoe Thorald, who found her horses that had been devoted companions for much of her life had died in the storm.

In an emotional post on the Wainfleet, Wainfleet Facebook page, Zoe, of Spilsby Road, Eastville, said that in spite of protecting the horses during fireworks displays and previous storms, this one had finally taken 'her babies'.

" I've never know anything like this. Devastated doesn’t come close to how I feel and I have two young boys and a lonely pony left grieving," she said.

"Fortunately, when the lightning struck Violet and jumped to Dawn, Dawn's daughter was not close enough to suffer. I still can’t quite believe it.

It is believed lightning struck Violet and jumped to Dawn

It is believed lightning struck Violet and jumped to Dawn

"The disposal man said Violet had a burn mark, so the lightning hit her first and jumped to Dawn. I know it was sudden as both still had grass in their mouths."

Her post attracted some hurtful comments but Zoe said some people did not understand the situation. She said: ""Yes, being stabled may have helped in this instance but those of you who knew Violet would know how stressed and panicked she would have become inside, seeing as she had jumped out of a stable window on a few firework nights, years ago.

"My ponies were hardy Welshies who live out mostly all year round and hate being inside.

"Could I have got them in when the storm first started? No, I would have caused them to panic more and, to be honest, where would she have been safe during the worst storm I have ever seen in my lifetime?

Pavements in Drummond Road, Skegness,  were under six inches of water.

Pavements in Drummond Road, Skegness, were under six inches of water.

"I know, deep down, I could not have done anything differently to change the outcome of at least one of my ponies. But I will always have my mind playing the 'what if'. game.

"They both had a wonderful long life with me, knowing them both from youngsters and living to the ages of 31 and 29.

"I know there will be people who would have done things differently or 'know best' but unless you truly know the characters of these ponies, you cannot criticise.

"Violet was 31 and I had her since she was four. Dawn was 29 and think I’d had her around 20 years. They were my family. I had them longer than my husband and he knew they came before him."

Following the storm, firefighters attended 11 flood related incidents across the county, including in the Skegness area.

As visitors to the coast enjoyed an unscheduled light show, residents in Wainfleet were left concerned they would see a repeat of the recent flooding..

There were also reports of flash flooding at caravan sites and arcades in Ingoldmells

Staff at Tiny Tots Village Indoor Playzone in Ingoldmells appealed for help on social media after their premises were flooded.

They later reported they were back open for business, thanking those who had helped them.

In a post on Facebook they said: ""Massive #Thankyou to everyone that came and helped tonight with the flood from the storm!! We are so so grateful! And the family of six that saw we were asking for help and came down bless you.

"All the rainwater has been cleared from the cafe floors and everywhere is disinfected, fresh and clean. Playarea was not affected thankfully."

In Skegness, one motorist in Drummond Road, Skegness, said at the peak of the storm, the pavement was under six inches of rainwater - and local runners described being battered by giant hail stones. .

·Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue tweeted: "We attended 11 flooding related incidents during the evening following the heavy rainfall;

"@leverton_fire, @LincolnSFire, @LouthFire and @SkegnessFire attended incidents where they pumped water away from properties and roads, as well as giving advice to people in the area."

Repairs to the bank that breached in Wainfleet were finished at the beginning of August. Alec Ambridge-Richardson, Operations Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “We know how devastating flooding can be, and that’s why we and our partners are still actively working to support and protect the people of Wainfleet as they continue on the road to recovery.

“We finished repairing the bank breach at the beginning of August, but further vital work to maintain the banks of the Steeping is ongoing. We’re keeping local people updated on our progress both by newsletter and through weekly drop-in sessions.

“Meanwhile, we’d remind people to make sure they’re signed up for our free flood warnings by calling 0345 988 1188 – and get in touch with us or East Lindsey District Council if you need advice or guidance, or to give feedback.”