Reported Equine Deaths Exceed 150 in Oklahoma

More than 150 horses reportedly perished in the tornadoes that hit Moore and the Oklahoma City area May 20.

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Horsemen’s groups in Oklahoma are meeting with representatives from the state’s department of agriculture and veterinarians May 24 to create a plan going forward following the recent tornado that struck Moore, Okla.

Joe Lucas, executive vice president for the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO), said that more than 150 horses perished in the tornadoes that hit Moore and the Oklahoma City area May 20. That count includes all breeds.

Many of those horses died at the Orr Family Farm near Moore, which sits on the 106-acre Celestial Acres Thoroughbred training center. But Lucas said information is still being gathered from other area farms that suffered losses; a difficult process as many horsemen also are addressing family and housing needs.

"The main concern everyone has of course is the people," Lucas said. "I can’t give you names of people in need, but the human aspect of this is by far the most important. But we also have to take responsibility for these horses and animals and that’s what we’re trying to do on our part

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Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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