Ohio Horses Recovering from Accident Injuries

Two Quarter Horse geldings are under treatment for trauma and other injuries sustained when the gooseneck trailer in which they were riding overturned during a single-car incident on Ohio Interstate 71 May 22. The truck's driver and four other occupants were transported to hospitals for treatment. Their conditions are unknown.

The trailer was overturned when the right front tire of the truck towing it failed, causing the vehicle to cross a median strip and strike a tree. The trailer landed with its rear end on the ground, blocking the doors and trapping the horses inside, said Ohio State Police Trooper Christopher Creech.

"We had to cut the trailer open to get to the horses," Creech said.

The animals were transported to the Lebanon Equine Clinic, where they underwent treatment to repair several lacerations and abrasions, said Derek McFadden, DVM, the veterinarian in charge of their care. One horse remains at the clinic in stable condition.

"On Sunday, the other horse was transferred to an equine hospital in Lexington, Ky., for treatment of a developing abdominal issue secondary to the trauma," McFadden said. He declined further comment.

The Ohio rollover accident is one of several incidents involving horse trailers that occur annually nationwide, said Mark Cole, managing member of USRider, a Lexington-based nationwide roadside assistance program for equestrians. Owners can reduce risks by conducting pre-travel vehicle and equipment inspections, Cole said.

Both vehicles and trailers should be inspected to be sure:

  • Tires are sound and inflated to manufacturers' pressure specifications.
  • Vehicle and trailer lights and electrical wiring systems are connected and in working order.
  • Safety cables and chains are connected.
  • Vehicle turn signals and windshield wipers are in working order.
  • Trailer flooring is undamaged and rust-free.

Owners can also prepare for travel emergencies by placing a packet containing information about their horses in the vehicle's glove box or console.

Information packets should include:

  • Horses' age, breed, and gender
  • Vaccination and health certificates
  • Descriptions of chronic or current conditions and medications used to treat them
  • Any other information pertinent to veterinary medical treatment.

"The information will probably not immediately affect the way responding veterinarians triage in an emergency situation, but it's good to have later," McFadden said.

Emergency packets should also contain ownership information and a list of individuals that emergency responders should contact in case of an emergency. Packets may also include a temporary power of attorney document authorizing a third party to make veterinary care decisions for a horse injured in an accident.

"This takes effect if the owner is incapacitated in the incident," Cole said.

In Case of Emergency (ICE) contact information may also be included on cell phone contact lists by adding the words "ICE-Horse" to specific names on the list.

Emergency information and temporary power of attorney documents are available for free download at www.usrider.org.

About the Author

Pat Raia

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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