Horse News

Kentucky Reports Many Horses Killed by March 2 Tornadoes

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Humans, Horses, Homes and Barns Laid to Waste by Storms

Deadly Twisters tore at America's Heartland ~ photo by Brook Bunch

More and more the sad news is coming in of horse owners who have lost all or almost all of their horses in the March 2, 2012 tornadoes, often along with their homes and barns. Many horses who were not already dead had to be euthanized due to severe injuries they had suffered. Injured horses, other pets, and livestock have been keeping veterinarians in the area very busy.

Rhonda and Bill McCardle, of Crittenden, Kentucky, have been running their McCardle’s Hidden Stables for 40 years, are one of those horse owners whose lives were devastated by the March 2 tornadoes. After the tornado hit their ranch two people who lived on their farm were killed, Donald and Linda Beemon, and their ranch laid in ruin with 15 of their horses dead, and the family dogs are unaccounted for.

Loose horses were roaming around in the area of Henryville and surrounding areas hit hard by tornadoes. Many of these horses were being rounded up and trailered to Saddle Up Arena, an equestrian show facility, in Madison, Indiana. There were mares with foals by their sides included in the group of about 40 horses that were taken to the facility. Each horse is being tagged with the identification of the area they were found in for owner reference. Due to the Clark State Forestry horse trails being located within the Henryville area there were many horse farms located in the areas that were hit hard by the tornadoes. It is hoped that these horses can be reunited with their owners.

Anyone missing horses from the Southern Indiana area hit by tornadoes can contact Kelly Carr of Saddle Up Arena at: 502-645-2304. Saddle Up Arena is located at 178 North Badger Road, Madison, IN.

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29 replies »

  1. I’ve been sending Reiki to the Midwest since the storms. I am so sorry for all involved. Mother Nature is fighting the human race. She is done with all our abuse of her beautiful planet.


  2. Some good news. The tornados did not hit Liberty, KY where the BLM was having an adoption. I went on Sat. and the only mare in foal captured me. Luckily my neighbor with a stock trailer was home and used our truck to bring her home. She is due in May and was rounded up from the Triple B HMA last Aug. She is a very pale cream color and is very wild. This BLM crew was considerate of the horses and not haltering them or using force loading.


    • Congrats Barbara, I bet she is beautiful, I am glad to hear the BLM was respectful in loading her in her delicate condition…………Happy to know she is safe with you now……… Please keep us informed to her progress……………..Again I am so happy she is with you !!!!!!!!


    • Barb, are you already owned by a BLM horse? They will definitely capture your heart. I too rescued a semi-domesticated mare who was pregnant. However, she had been in captivity for many years, bred by a TB and then abandoned.

      Enjoy her!

      Sue, FL


    • Congratulations Barbara. So glad you are able to give a good home to this mare and her foal to come. Maybe all of those who lost their horses will now be able to provide a good home for another horse in need. My heart goes out to all in the midwest.


    • Glad to hear the good news, considering all the destruction that’s taken place. Good for you, adopting the mare in foal. She sounds beautiful and you must be thrilled! Good luck with them. (-:


  3. So Sad that many horses lost their lives in the tornadoes, , But I would like to thank all people and Vets who work so lovingly to save the ones that they can………………….. One of the reasons that they are so precious is that isnt it hard enough for our horses to live with things we cannot control, that is why we must control the BLM… needless masecures , these beautiful beings have enough problems………………… The BLM needs to protect them and help them like they are paid to do…………………………….


    • Mine were confirmed along with the dead in a pile. I will always love and miss them, Debbie Vaughn March 6,2013 Twister and Star Girl.


      • I am so sorry to hear that Twister and Star Girl were among those that were lost. I saw their posting on Netposse and i was so hoping they would have been found safe. My heart goes out to you and all those who have lost their furry friends! May God Bless you all!


      • Debra Vaughn, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your beautiful horses Twister and Star Girl. I don’t know how long you had them as part of your family, but I have had one of my three I’ve saved from being killed a little over a year, and the other two I’ve had just five months, and I know I would be devastated to lose any one of them. Just know, that they are watching over you and wishing they were still with you. In May of 2010, I lost a beautiful Arabian that I had been going out to see for one and one half years at a sanctuary 120 miles from my home and I told them I wanted to adopt him and his corral mate when I retired. I spent that day with him and he died that night. I know he was trying to tell me something that night as I couldn’t sleep. He understood everything I said to him and to this very day, I cry for him. He will never be replaced by the others, but I know he has been intrimental in my getting them. After he died I saw two black Arabians that were starving to death in a field in Oregon and I hope to get them with me in July of this year, if my plans continue as hoped. He, I know, directed me to the computer that day when I saw the one. Again, I know words cannot help you in your grief and it will be a long time before you come to terms with why it happened. Hopefully, you will find two others to love and care for as there are so many that need loving and caring homes.


  4. All of the humans and animals are in my thoughts and prayers since the tornados hit . Thanks, R.T. for posting the information of where the horses that were saved were transported to. As always, you & Terry are leading the way to help both humans and horses! Blessed Be!


  5. I was in the first tornado of the day early friday am. We took shelter underground and came out to F2 destruction. No fatalities thank God. Horses are OK! Small farm down the road lost their horse trailer & barn but that’s just stuff. The rest of the day was spent clearing debris & taking shelter as more warnings were issued throughout the day. Pray for those in harder hit areas that lost everything.


  6. So sorry to hear this, but thank you for publishing this information. This level of destruction is unimaginable unless you have lived through something like this, and perhaps even if you have.

    It doesn’t matter at this point, and it may not have mattered at all Friday when the storms hit given the wind speeds, but do we know if the horses who died were inside barns or outdoors in natural shelter? I often struggle with the question of whether my horses will be safer out with the herd or inside the barn when rough (strong winds) weather strikes. So far we have not had this degree or kind of tornado activity here. I just wondered what evidence suggests from areas actually hit—if anything at all survives to tell us.


    • I have. I live in Alabama. Was here 4/27 outbreak last year, F5 in ’89, and super outbreak of ’74. Definitely the horses are safer outside, instinct guides them (providing of course they have ample room to escape). Fences go quick & somehow they know how to be in the right place. The only horse fatalities from last year’s 4/27 outbreak (around here) were horses that were struck by lightning. Personally I will never leave my horse in the barn during severe weather.


      • It seems counter-intuitive for humans to release their animals if they get a direct tornado warning, but I agree…..turn them loose and have the halters or chips in advance. I remember the stories from Katrina where humans LOCKED their animals in barns/stalls with 2 days water and feed. It was heartbreaking to hear the recovery teams stories of domesticated animals they found.


  7. My heart goes out to all those that have lost their homes and their beloved horses, dogs, and cats. I know many of these loved their animals and would have done anything to save them. May all the horses that were rounded up will get back to the rightful owners — and not those disgusting killer buyers that seem to be lurking around every corner. My prayers are with all those that have lost so much. I wished I lived closer and could help in whatever way I could.


  8. My heart and soul are with all who have lost everything. May God provide comfort and loving support in your time of loss. I pray that all animals found will be reunited with their families and continue on to live a wonderful life. I feel totally helpless not being able to provide assistance in some way. I will continue to send up prayers for everyone. God Bless you all … and your lost animals.


  9. This is one reason why identification is so important. Microchipping, halters left on with owners info written on them with indelible ink help a lot for the horses to be returned to the rightful owners. I am so sorry for all the people and animals that have been lost in this awful storm. I guess we need to have a lot more underground shelters built in subdivisions and trailer parks and every country home should also have one. It should be required as part of the housing code!!! A lot of lives would be saved!


  10. wow lisa it went from a F2 in your area, to a F4 here in KY and OHIO. my friends almost lost their house and bulls but it missed them by a hlaf mile. Scary weather that night was.


    • glad to hear your friends & property are ok. tornadoes are so much scarier at night! I dread the rest of peak storm season….which really hasn’t arrived yet!


  11. Saddle Up Arena

    6 hours ago.

    Just want to clarify, Saddle Up Arena does not have any displaced horses from the tornado that hit the area. I know there have been several postings about this on facebook, however it is untrue.


  12. Hi there,

    Not sure how to contact the writer of this article. Saddle Up Arena does not have any horses from this tornado. I think this has been confused because the owner has been helping out her brother in law whose horses were hurt in the tornado. Could you please edit this article and take out our contact information.


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