More than 150 horses have died as a result of the violent tornado that swept through Oklahoma earlier this week.
Oklahoma Thoroughbred Racing Association spokesman Joe Lucas said the sobering count represents the entire community of farms that sit on the southern border of Oklahoma City, including thoroughbred and quarter horses based at Celestial Acres Training Centre.
Celestial Acres had four barns and only one of them was left standing after the storm. “There are many horsemen who have been affected by this tragedy and have lost everything,” Lucas said. “The response to the tragedy has been outstanding. We received an anonymous donation of $10,000 for feed and management of the horses.”
Rescued horses were sent to Remington Park racecourse and the Heritage Place auction house in Oklahoma City.
Heritage Place general manager Spence Kidney explained horses with minor injuries will be stabled there for a few days until things get sorted. “It’s a terrible situation,” he said. “Among the horses we’re caring for are a miniature stallion, a paint horse, and a small grey mare who appears to be a Welsh pony.”
One of the most heart-warming stories was the rescue of an unraced three year-old thoroughbred filly named Sasha’s Image. She was heard whinnying from beneath barn doors more than 24 hours after the storm hit.