Show visitors helped move horses and equipment after the weather-related mishap.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
A brief but heavy storm caused some mayhem at the Roanoke Valley Horse Show on Wednesday night, ripping apart one of the large tents in the Salem Civic Center parking lot.
The tent, one of eight, contained about 65 stalls and had about 50 to 55 horses inside - as well as dozens of horse show visitors - when strong winds tore through and collapsed most of the structure.
Roanoke emergency crews were called to the civic center shortly after 7 p.m. Salem deputy fire chief John Prillaman said they were told of possible entrapment; however, when they arrived everyone was out of the tent. Prillaman said there were no injuries, and event organizers reported no horses were injured either. Only one tent was damaged.
Horse show guests helped relocate all the horses to other stalls. Breed manager Peter Fenton said everyone "dodged a bullet." He said the damaged tent was being taken down Wednesday night, and that a replacement would be in place by some time Thursday morning.
He said some horse show events would be postponed as a result of the storm, but nothing would be cancelled permanently.
"Tomorrow it will look like it never happened," Fenton said.
He praised all the participants and guests at the horse show Wednesday night for helping to relocate horses, equipment and materials.
An hour after the storm dozens of people were still chipping in to move equipment that had been in the tent. The incident comes just six days after another storm flattened all eight of the large tents set up in the lot in preparation for the show.
Event organizers had to work overtime to repair the damage from the first storm, but the show still began at 8 a.m. Monday as planned. Fenton said the horse show should continue as planned for today. The Roanoke Valley Horse Show runs through Saturday.