Whenever a tornado strikes, our hearts go out to the people whose lives lay in its path. Of course, we wonder about the horses, and speculate on what's worse--to be turned out, and possibly be hit by debris, or to be stuck in a stall if a barn collapses.
After Friday's storms swept across the USA, both scenarios unfolded in two of the first stories to come out of the disaster zones.
In Tennessee, horseowner Bunny Howe said her family and her horse survived the brunt of the storm by the grace of God.
"My horse's name is Diablo, 'the?devil,'" laughed?Howe in a video interview with WBIR-TV." [The tornado]?picked him up and?set him down like he was in its hand.? He was dazed, he didn't know what to do, and then he took off.? Then the other horse went running after him.? It took me a while to get them back, but they are both fine.? You can see the hoof prints in the ground where the tornado dropped the horse and?he landed."
The most serious horse-related news available in any detail so far is from the town of Crittenden, Ohio. Crittenden hasn't been in mentioned in the national news, but tornadoes don't care about that. The twister hit there just as hard. In addition to killing horses in a barn on a Quarter horse farm, the tornado killed two people who lived on the farm.
The Jurga Report turned to our friends at gohorseshow.com for an update and some background on the situation at the McCardle family's Quarter Horse farm. The McCardles lost their home, barn and horses. The family shows on the AQHA circuit, and it has been reported that possibly two of the family's horses survived--a yearling named Diesel Two A Te (Max) by Diesel Only and a two-week-old weanling by Diesel Only named Teddy, who was just found Saturday morning. Both are at the vet clinic for their injuries.
The McCardle family lost several beloved show horses including Reserve Congress Champion Trail horse, Kiss This Goodbar (Dave); Colton Dan (Clyde); Silver Grey Te (Greta); Notes For Bullion (Bully); Its Nobodys Business (Noby); and Easters Dan Jet (Danny). They also had several yearlings, two-year-olds, and three-year-olds ready to start showing and a few more that were due this year.
A close family friend, Carla Goff-Glutting of Millwood, Kentucky told GoHorseShow that the family had upwards of twenty horses on the farm including a retired show mare, Silver Gray Te (Greta); the family has owned her for over fifteen years and she was the dam of the only two surviving foals.
The two sisters, Becky and Rachel, show in AQHA all-around amateur events, and their parents compete in the speed and halter events. "They are a wonderful family, extremely dedicated to their horses and showing, along with breeding," a friend of the family, Jan Hare of Lima, Ohio told GoHorseShow.
Horse trainer Stacey Ryan of Bardstown, Kentucky told GoHorseShow Saturday morning: "Rachel sent me a picture and literally there is nothing left there. Not really any debris or partial building left standing. The tornado picked it all up and took it all. It saddens me for them more than I can possibly express. They have nothing left at the farm--her mom and dad don't even have a change of clothes. The horse trailers were carried off and they have no idea where they ended up and the tractor equipment has been mangled into balls of metal. Luckily, the family wasn't home at the time."
How to help the McCardles:
1. Donate to the fund by getting in touch with McCardle family friend Sue Haynes (email@example.com) or call 270-756-5923. "We need to dig deep and help all we can. These are some of our best people and they need our help. God Bless," Sue Haynes posted on her Facebook page. "I have got an account started this morning at The Farmers Bank in Hardinsburg, Ky. If you wish to send checks to me, my address is 602 Bobby Haynes Rd. Harned, Ky 40144. Call if you wish to wire money and I will give you the info. We have had several people contribute so far. Thanks everyone."
2. Donate to help the McCardle's surviving horses. If anyone would like to make a donation to the McCardle's vet clinic to help them out with the costs for treating Max and Teddy, here is the information: Park Equine Hospital ? 5455 Lexington Rd., Lexington, KY 40511? Phone: (859)-987-4303 ? Fax: (859)-987-4304.
Thanks to Suzannah Fuhrman and gohorseshow.com for assistance with this article.