21 Kentucky Horses Lost In Flooding

One farm in Stanton, Ky., on the Red River lost 15 babies, five broodmares, and a stallion to flooding on Sunday, May 30. Heavy rains that day rapidly forced waters higher in the already swollen river, and within three hours the river had covered horse pastures with up to six feet of water. H.T. Derickson III said they began trying to evacuate horses from his family's 400-acre Van Bert Farm when flooding started about 6 pm, but unfortunately, they could not beat the swiftly rising waters.

Employees and family in boats tried to rescue as many of the 100 Mountain Pleasure horses as possible, but waters quickly overtook fields and fences. "Our vet, Dr. John Clark, has been a great help," said Derickson. "He was out there for eight hours at a time helping pull horses out of the water."

The family, who has been raising, boarding, and showing horses from Van Bert Farm since 1965, said one baby was saved after it washed downstream about two miles. It only had minor injuries. The lost stallion, Doc's Desperado, had been raised and shown by the family. Wednesday (June 2) was spent burying horses and tending to survivors.

The surviving horses were moved to Far Lanes Farm near Lexington, Ky., and they will remain away from Van Bert Farm until pastures are dry enough to repair fences and handle horses, possibly as long as two months.

Derickson said they are in urgent need of hay, as well as fencing supplies, grain, and pasture space. Anyone with extra hay to donate for the horses can contact Derickson at Van Bert Farm 800 Dreckson Lane, Stanton, KY 40380, 606/663-4464.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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