Horse Owners Taking Proactive Approach for Hurricane Matthew

Owners on the East Coast are evacuating horses to locations away from the storm’s potential path.

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Even before Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti, Ashley Sammon offered stalls in her Tampa, Florida-area barn to owners hoping to evacuate their horses before the storm reached the state’s East Coast. By Oct. 4, Sammon had fielded nine inquiries and had several relocation reservations.

“I have four people bring their horses here today, and another three coming in tomorrow,” Sammon said on Oct. 4. “In the meantime, I’m getting the stalls ready and getting hay in case we get short.”

Sammon is one of several barn operators throughout East Coast using social media, personal contacts, and equine association networking to stay one step ahead of the storm. Many are also making private arrangements to move their horses before mandatory evacuation orders allow some state-sponsored relocation sites to accept animals displaced by the storm.

In South Carolina, Elizabeth Steed, executive director of the L.E.A.R.N. Horse Rescue, in Meggett, spent most of Oct. 4 evacuating her horses to safer pastures well away from the state’s coast

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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