A farmer and his wife have been left devastated after a horse and a pony were killed in a lightning strike.
David and Karen Mosdell, of Danley Marshes Farm in Halfway, on Sheppey, were told their beloved Welsh Section D cross, named Harvey, who they had owned for almost 20 years, had died in last night's storm, as did one of their Shetlands.
The couple, both 60, were not at the farm when the bolt hit, at about 5.30pm, but their riding instructor, Philippa Kelly, was in the yard.
Luckily she was in a tack shed, far enough away, so she did not get hit.
Karen said: "Philippa phoned and she was hysterical. David couldn't understand what she was saying.
"She said there was a bit of warning, a couple of the girls' hair started standing on end where the electricity was so thick in the air.
"There was a big clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning. It hit the ground, ran up the horses' legs and killed them both. It was just so quick and awful."
Philippa, known as Pip, said she still felt "numb" about what had happened.
The 27-year-old, who has been a riding instructor at the farm for about seven years, said: "There were three of us standing around on the yard, just chatting. We knew the storm was coming.
"Then our hair started to stand on end. We laughed at each other but didn't know the seriousness of what it meant to have your hair stand on end in a storm."
Soon after, when Pip was in the tack shed, she saw a flash and heard "an almighty crash".
"I don't know what came first, it all happened so quickly. I thought the roof had come down. I dropped to the floor and held my head.
"After realising it wasn't the roof, I ran outside to see what had happened. I could smell burning. I thought the stable block was on fire."
Pip said she saw the Shetland laying in the field first and then Harvey. Both had singed hairs.
"Thankfully, they just looked like they were sleeping," Pip said. "I feel numb. We're all devastated about the horses but we're grateful it wasn't worse.
"Finding out that the electricity was building in us is nerve-racking. It just doesn't feel real."
Another of the farm's Shetland ponies had to be put down after the storm because the pair – called Sugar and Spice – were "like twins" and had been together "for years".
Karen said: "They were really old and were a pair. They were always together – it just seemed to be the kindest thing to do. It wouldn't have been fair to leave one without the other."
She added: "When it's stormy, we tend to leave the horses out because – and I think a lot of other horse owners will agree – it's better to leave them out as they can run about if they're scared, whereas in a stable they can really hurt themselves. That's what we did, unfortunately, it was the wrong decision."
Karen said "devastated" did not cut how she felt.
"I just can't believe it," she added.
"I've had Harvey for about 18 years, he was born at the farm. He was cheeky, he had his own little personality and was loved by all the kids."
Children and adults go to the farm, off Power Station Road, for riding lessons and clubs. As well as horses, it has 60 sheep, 15 cows, donkeys, goats, chickens and two pigs.
"Any of the children who have been down would have known Harvey," Karen said. "A lot of them will be upset."