By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Steven Wysocki, the husband of American dressage rider and judge Kristi, was flown out of Algeria Friday night after hiding for three days from terrorists who attacked the remote gas plant where he was working as production supervisor.
Kristi. who with her husband owns Somewhere Farms in Elbert, Colorado, described events as a “roller coaster” and “surreal” since receiving a text message from her husband at 1:01 a.m. Tuesday:
“I love you. Bad problems. I hope I can talk again.”
Followed by the chilling news:
“It’s a terror attack. I’m OK now. Will try to call you later.”
The text message came after a phone call the two were having dropped out, a not unusual occurrence and a situation she understands as she also is an engineer who worked for an oil company in Alaska. She didn’t know until later that the Islamist terrorist attack caused the phone to go down.
“He called me back immediately,” she told dressage-news.com. “He sounded fine. He said the power just went and and he had to go outside. There were a lot of sirens going.
“They all thought they had had an accident.”
Then came the text 1:01 a.m. text message, followed by Steven’s message that it was a terrorist attack.
Along with some other employees, Steven was in hiding within the sprawling plant.
“He was in hiding the entire time until this morning (9 a.m. Friday) when he got out with some other guys he was with.”
While they were in hiding, she said, they were able to send text messages to a British Petroleum manager.
“Having worked in the oil fields I understand the location and environment he was in,” she said, “and the danger of 3,000 pounds under pressure with bullets being fired… everybody’s in trouble.
“It was a long three days. I put myself into engineer mode and deal with emotions later.”
Kristi said her husband was flown out of Algiers on a U.S. military plane Friday morning to a base in Germany, but without passports or any other papers that were left behind at the gas plant.
The State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “have been phenomenal, remarkable people,” she said. “An amazing woman at the U.S. embassy in Algiers didn’t sleep for four days until she was able to account for all the Americans.” And she described oil field workers as similar to the military who are like brothers and support has come in all over the world
“Tonight I’ll sleep because he’s in good hands. He’s a good man. I feel very blessed.”
Kristi, a native of Colorado, is a USEF licensed ‘S’ Dressage Judge, ‘r’ Dressage Sport Horse Judge and FEI 3* Para Dressage Judge.
She has won many regional and local championships through Grand Prix and also successfully competed in CDIs.