OCONEE COUNTY, Ga. - Macon Martin has always had a special connection to his family's Clydesdale horses, but that bond is now a little tighter after an overnight ordeal that started with a bolt of lightning.
"Lightning hit the house and it just shook. We went outside and put the fire out on the electrical box and within 5 minutes, we could see our barn was on fire with all the horses inside. It only took a few minutes before the house was fully engulfed,” the 16-year-old Oconee County high school student said.
It was around 2 a.m. and the rain was pouring down in Bishop, Georgia when Macon, his 21-year-old brother Austin Beauchamp and their father Mark Martin scrambled a half mile down the road in to save their Clydesdales.
"I just had on my underwear, but all I could think about was the animals. The doors are electric, so I used the Gator (utility vehicles) to ram through the doors of the barn, then my dad and my brother went in to let the horses out. At first, they wouldn't even move because they were so scared," Macon said as he stood in front on the property where his family operates Classic City Clydesdales.
As Shannon Martin and a host of friends hustled to start the rebuilding process, her sons were at her side as she cleaned stables and cleared areas to temporarily store the show horses.
"I just can't, can't tell you how proud I am. Macon stayed so calm, calmer than all of us," said Shannon Martin.
Beuchamp believes his brother's quick-thinking actions with an ordinary piece of farm equipment made all the difference in a potentially deadly situation.
"Heck yeah I'm proud of that guy. If he hadn't done what he did, we'd all be a whole lot worse off than we are right night," Beauchamp said.