Saturday, 18 February 2012

Legendary Affaire

Here's a link to the story I was telling you about when we met at La Rueda on Thursday. An American woman, Erica Marshall, was killed on 10 February when a horse started kicking while she was treating it in a hyperbaric chamber in Florida. Apparently sparks from the horse's shoes caused an explosion.

According to The Telegraph, the explosion could be heard 30 miles away. They explain that EM met and married an Englishman called Keiran Marshall while studying in England. The story is illustrated with a wedding photo. There are quotes from Peter Rust, the landlord of the Fountain Inn, and Tim Errock, the owner of Phoenix Fine Drinks in Gloucester. EM is variously referred to as 'a 28-year-old newlywed', 'the former barmaid' and 'an equine expert'. The article in the Telegraph is the one I read first and I still prefer it to any of the others I read subsequently as it has the most 'human interest' elements.

Irish Central tells the story from the point of view of Sorcha Moneley, an Irishwoman who was injured in the explosion (the comments under the article are generally unsympathetic to all concerned). There are more details about the accident in The Chronicle of the Horse, here. There's a succinct write-up and a photo of the wreckage on MSNBC here, though there's a lot of bickering in the comments under the article, with people trading insults about cats.

Retired Race Horse blog does a bit of Marpling about the story here ('The news of the horseshoes seemed very odd. Why would anyone allow a horse with steel shoes into a hyperbaric chamber?') and links to a story about a horse called House of Wisdom who died in a fire in a hyperbaric chamber in Newmarket in England in 2008. talked to neighbour Georgie Yates who said of the explosion: 'They heard it down as far as Morriston Post Office.' Wesh's reporter explains that the horse was being treated for Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a neurological disease, and then quotes Georgie Yates again: 'The roof was blown open and walls were gone, but my heart just goes out to the family members of the poor girl that lost her life.'

The horse was called Landmark's Legendary Affaire.

Obviously, this isn't paranormal. It's just a very sad story. There's no need for us to investigate it. However maybe I could use an explosion in a hyperbaric chamber as a cause of death in an Emily Castles Mystery. Did I tell you I'm experimenting with a new kind of mystery where it's always the most obvious suspect who's responsible? I like your theory that the first person you see on screen in TV series like Marple/Poirot/Midsomer Murders is always the murderer. That wouldn't work in the books because I usually start with Emily. Actually, it would be fun if I could turn Emily into a serial killer, but it would remove the mystery element. Anyway it's probably already been done.

Do you remember the story of the horses that were electrocuted at Newbury about a year ago? The horses were called Fenix Two and Marching Song and they both died of a heart attack. That was another sad story. It seemed paranormal at the time. There's a full write-up here in the Daily Mail under the title 'Horror at the Races' ('a mysterious incident', 'the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen in my life') but it's full of upsetting details so don't read it if you don't want to dwell on the horses' suffering.


  1. Hello!
    My goodness me, all very exciting, I agree with Retired Race Horse blog. I would read the Daily Mail article, but I have banned myself from it due to the constant lack of truth, and that all the comments end up being cat related insults. I do miss the show-biz gossip from the Daily Mail, again, all untrue, but fun. I have to rely on Kyle to relay anything good. Although all he has told me is bad news - poor Angie the trainer and poor Michelle Duggard.
    Anywho, I am getting distracted. Did you hear that Simon Cowell likes an oxygen chamber? Oxygen chamber + blingy jewelry = an Emily Castles. And yes, I like the idea of the most likely (obnoxious) person being the culprit. xxx

  2. I didn't know that about Simon Cowell (I'm not even going to ask who are Angie the trainer and poor Michelle Duggard). But that's exactly how I had thought the story might go: the rasp of a man's heavy bracelet against an unpadded section of the chamber, a spark, boom! Emily is called to investigate.

    I have also given up reading the Daily Mail online. The culture section of the NYT is very good. Did I send you the link to that article about the visit to Charles Dickens world? I can't remember if I have already posted it on here (in which case, sorry) or posted it on FB or talked to you about it in real life. I know I put the link on Twitter but I'm starting to get all these other existences mixed up.