An international dressage rider is fighting for life after sustaining a severe head injury while rescuing a stranger’s horses from a yard ravaged by bush fires. German rider Janina Kletke, who is based in Australia, responded to a phone call asking if she could collect four horses from a burnt-out property in Garfield North, Victoria.
The 34-year-old was accompanied to the property by a County Fire Authority (CFA) crew but was involved in an accident while loading the fourth horse. She was taken to the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, where she has since been kept in an induced coma in the intensive care unit.
Janina had earlier evacuated her own horses to a friend’s farm as wildfires closed in on the area and had posted on Facebook asking if anyone needed help. A woman responded at 2 am, prompting Janina to head out to the property. A Gofundme page, which aims to raise Aus$100,000, has been set up for the rider and paid tribute to her ability and the regard in which she is held.
“Janina has bought a wealth of knowledge and invaluable expertise to Australian dressage. Having people like Janina here in Australia is so important for the longevity of our sport. This is our chance to give her our support and thanks back when she needs it the most,” it said.