KHC Puts U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Funds to Work

Horse owners in Kentucky affected by March's deadly tornadoes have received assistance from the U.S. Equine Disaster relief fund as they work to rebuild what was destroyed by the storms.

This year, tornadoes devastated many towns in Kentucky and the surrounding states, affecting a great number of people and animals. Many horses perished during, or a result of, the tornadoes. The surviving horses were left in dangerous situations, as they encountered destroyed barns, blown-down fencing, overturned trucks and trailers, and loss of feed. Their owners also lost homes and vehicles, so worrying about their animals added yet another burden.

The Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) put the U.S. Equine Disaster Relief into effect to help Kentucky and surrounding states. In the past, the fund had been used for tornado and flood victims in Texas, Vermont, and Mississippi.

Representatives from the KHC spent the next week communicating with extension agents, veterinarians, and individuals in the hardest-hit areas. U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Funds provided feed, hay, temporary fencing, and veterinary supplies to horse owners in need. The KHC Facebook page was used to spread the word about missing horses.

Anna Zinkhon, KHC board president, of Campbell County worked in her community alongside many other horsemen to provide support to horse owners who were affected in Northern Kentucky; she also worked with the KHC office to coordinate relief efforts.

"It was a hectic time," said Zinkhon. "The people of Kentucky really stepped up to the challenge to help those in need. They donated generously, provided labor to clear debris and rebuild fence lines, and volunteered in the KHC office to help with the relief effort. Extension agents also went above and beyond the call of duty to help those who were affected, delivering supplies, coordinating distribution areas, and working continuously with the Kentucky Horse Council to help horses and their owners. We expect to continue to provide support and work with these wonderful people long after the headlines have faded away."

Citizens from around the country donated over $10,000 to the Disaster Fund in the wake of the tornadoes. One Northern Kentucky group raised over $3,000 by holding a 24-hour ride-a-thon, during which trainer Stephanie England Grey rode a series of horses for 24 hours straight. Shadwell Farm, a Thoroughbred farm in Lexington, contributed $1,000 to the fund. The Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders contributed $500 as well. Many other individual donations arrived ranging from $10.00 to $350.00.

The U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund continues to accept donations for these victims as well as horses and horse owners affected by future disasters. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit

For more information about the U.S. Equine Disaster Relief Fund, please contact the KHC at or 859/367-0509.

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