Nova Scotia

Stormbound Nova Scotia travellers find warm welcome in Edmundston, N.B.

Three Nova Scotia women found themselves in a desperate situation Saturday night when their truck, hauling a horse in a big trailer, began having problems with a ferocious winter storm bearing down on them.

3 Nova Scotia women travelling with a horse amazed by generous offers of shelter

Jennifer Sarsfield (left), Holly Erith (centre) and Gillian Doiron (right) say they were overwhelmed by the warm welcome they received in Edmundston, N.B., after having truck trouble while transporting Holly's horse, Bomb, from Quebec back to Nova Scotia. (Submitted by Gillian Doiron)

It's bad enough to have truck trouble on the road with a whopper of a winter storm approaching.

But it's even worse when you're hauling a nine-metre trailer with a show horse named Bomb aboard.

Three Nova Scotia women found themselves in a desperate situation Saturday night when their truck began having problems as they neared the New Brunswick border, slowing to a crawl as a big snowstorm moved in.

"We were trying to get ahead of the storm ... and then a couple hours outside the New Brunswick border, we started to have some truck troubles," said Gillian Doiron, who was travelling with Bomb's owner, Holly Erith, and trainer Jennifer Sarsfield.

The women got on social media and appealed for help from residents in the Edmundston, N.B., area.

Bomb, a Canadian warmblood horse, and owner Holly Erith are shown in the barn owned by Luc Lavoie and Chantal Sirois, an Edmundston, N.B., couple who offered to put the group up during the storm this weekend. (Submitted by Gillian Doiron)

They were flabbergasted by the response.

"We just had an outpouring of support from this local horse community. We had many offers for different places to stay," Doiron said.

"We had people offer to come haul the trailer to other locations and in the end, we met these wonderful people — we don't even really know them through anyone — they met us and drove us to a small farm."

The trio and Bomb, a Canadian warmblood, wound up at the home of Luc Lavoie and Chantal Sirois, owners of Chantal's Steakhouse in Edmundston.

Although both of them were at the restaurant for the evening, they had called their neighbour to meet the group and bring them to their home, about seven kilometres outside Edmundston.

"They opened their doors to complete strangers in need without even being here," Doiron said.

The group hopes to be back on the road to Nova Scotia on Monday, but up to 50 centimetres of snow was forecast for northern New Brunswick, where the three women and their horse rode out the storm. (Submitted by Gillian Doiron)

Topping off the experience was the help of a local mechanic who allowed them to bring their truck to his garage at 10 p.m.

On Sunday, the women were waiting out the storm in the farmhouse and Bomb was snug in a nearby barn.

Sarsfield said the horse had eye surgery the previous week in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., and the group had anticipated making the 15-hour trip back to Nova Scotia ahead of the storm.

She said they hope to be back on the road Monday, although up to 50 centimetres of snow was forecast for northern New Brunswick.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind of an evening last night, but everything worked out well. We are so thankful. It was just such an outpouring of generosity and support," Sarsfield said.

"Maritimers, you just can't beat them for their generosity."


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