A local family lost one of its horses in a trailer fire while traveling to a national horse competition in Oklahoma City.
Jaisen Von Ballmoos is a decorated equestrian who travels with six horses. Tuesday afternoon, the Granville man was a little more than 10 miles from a big show in Joplin, Mo., when the horse trailer caught fire.
“There was flames going up; the smoke you can see, and he literally jumped over them to get in front of them to get them out,” family friend Molly Magoon said.
Twelve hundred miles from home, Von Ballmoos is recovering from burns and bruised ribs. He was only able to save five of the horses.
“I think at the end of the day, it just shows how heroic Jaisen was,” Magoon said.
Magoon, a family friend, dropped her vacation plans to fly out to help the family. She created a GoFundMe account to help with medical and traveling costs for both Von Ballmoos and the surviving horses.
The account raised more than $14,000 less than 24 hours after the fire.
“When something like this happens in the horse industry, they really band together and support each other,” she said.
More than 1,000 horses will enter the arena as the Morgan Gran National Horse Show begins on Saturday. For now, Von Ballmoos’s other horses remain closely watched by veterinarians.
“They have a lot of burns on their face and their nostrils, so we’re really just keeping an eye out on their lungs and tending to those wounds,” Magoon said.
NEWS10 ABC reached out Von Ballmoos, but still rattled by the fire, he declined to comment.