Fire at dressage star Sönke Rothenberger's family stables

Credit : Hessenschau

Friday 01 March - 10h20 | Lucas Tracol and press release/files

Fire at dressage star Sönke Rothenberger's family stables

Four horses are reportedly dead and others injured after a fire at the stables of the Rothenberger family – home of 25-year-old dressage star Sönke Rothenberger – in Bad Homburg, Germany Thursday. But the rider's Olympic gold medal winning mount, Cosmos was saved.

 - Fire at dressage star Sönke Rothenberger's family stables

An injured horse, Sankt Anton, in the clinic
Credit :

Starting early in the morning, flames ravaged the stables complex about 30 minutes north of Frankfurt, with the fire reportedly destroying the indoor riding area before spreading to an adjacent building. Alerted by their barking dog, the family called emergency services.  

Two firefighters were injured trying to put out the fire and free horses, and unfortunately, four horses reportedly lost their lives. [Another report details five equine fatalities to date.] Others liberated in time were later rounded up in the woods, where they had fled. Sanneke Rothenberger, the younger sister of Sönke, had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after intervening to rescue horses.

Sönke Rothenberger was able to save Cosmo, his leading horse, with whom he notably won a Team gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016, at the European Championships the following year, and also at the Tryon World Equestrian Games in 2018. 

“It is clear that we have lost a large part of our life’s work," the family stated on its web site. "Our riding arena, our stable, some young and retired horses… Sönke was able to bring Cosmo to the Krause family stables, and also save Goldi (Golden Girl). Several other horses are injured. Sanneke was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation and is under observation, but is doing okay in the circumstances.” The family also expressed its thanks for the support it has received in the aftermath of the event.

The news site published images of the fire.

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