I just heard about this on the news and thought I'd share it. This is just rough video; it is provided courtesy of WTNH, Channel 8 in Connecticut. A barn at the famed Lindy Farms collapsed under the weight of snow this morning in Somers, Connecticut. Three horses were trapped inside. One horses was quickly euthanized, and in the video you will see rescuers working on a second who was pulled from the debris of the 200-foot-long barn.
Here's the report from my local news source, New England Cable News.
Later reports, including more comments from responding veterinarian Peter Conserva, are that the second horse was euthanized as well. A third horse survived and is being cared for.
That third horse is reported to be the great Moni Maker, the record-setting multi-millionaire Hall of Fame Standardbred mare. I believe she is still the all-time high money earner in harness racing. The two dead mares are identified as 1992 Merrie Annabelle winner Lady Starlet and one of her daughters, the 1997 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Trot winner My Dolly, according to a report on the disaster on website harnessracing.com.
Also in Connecticut today, the riding arena collapsed at Silvermine Farm, a hunter/jumper stable in Norwalk. In this photo from the Stamford Advocate, you see farm owner Ken Markosky and what used to be his indoor.
There are some lessons to be learned here: The Advocate reports that Markosky was plowing outside when he heard a noise, which turned out to be the main beam in the arena cracking. Luckily, he was there! He was able to shut off the electricity to the arena and stop the riders from going in. It collapsed a few hours later.
There's just no end to the ways that snow can affect horses, from preventing deliveries of hay and grain to knocking out electricity that keeps the lights on to making turnout not just risky, but downright impossible.
Please read the article in the Stamford Advocate about the Silvermine arena collapse. The information may help you sometime. The articles suggests that the farm has no place to exercise its horses now, so 38 horses may have to be moved. Think about the effect on their business, and the lessons that are normally given at the farm throughout the winter.
I'm sure you know to shovel and shovel and shovel to make sure there is safe access in and out of your barn, but today's tragedy brings to mind the necessity of keeping an eye on the roofs of barns and stables too. Shovel out fire hydrants and vents for clothes dryers (and anything else that has a vent--like a kerosene heater), too. There is a lot of snow here in New England.
While you're at it, shovel out the horse trailer, if you have one, and make sure that you can back up to it and get a horse loaded if you need to get to a vet clinic. This is colic season, after all.
I'm sure that the news I have reported here are only two of more tragedies that occurred around the northeastern USA today. And there's more snow coming.
by Fran Jurga
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