UPDATED: Horse Evacuation a 'Horrifying' Scene

Private and public barns are opening their stalls to horses displaced in Ridge brush fire.

Updated, 9:45 p.m.: Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross said dogs and cats will be accepted at the for individuals who have to evacuate their homes, though it should only be used as a last measure. Gross said four volunteers are currently at the Aquebogue center on Shade Tree Lane. He added that the Suffolk SPCA would do its best to accomodate individuals looking for help with larger animals.

Updated, 8 p.m.: Oscar Garcia of Little Ripple Farm in Manorville said he avoided evacuation due to the change in wind direction. So, he took his trailer and transporting 24 horses to his farm. "It's pretty much all farms out here. Everybody tries to help each other out," he said.

Updated, 7:30 p.m.: Annie's Acres is fine now and Hidden Pond needs help, according to Jessica Boyle. She said, "Park in the church by Hidden Pond, put towel on horse's head and walk them to the church from the farm."


After the on Monday afternoon, calls started going out through horseback riding networks for help evacuating horses from the equine-dense areas, but still hundreds of horses' lives are at risk. 

Firefighters are evacuating homes and several horse farms in areas near raging brush fires in eastern Brookhaven Town.

Will Bailey, the owner of Neptune Feed & Saddlery in Calverton, said three major farms in Manorville, which he estimated have upwards of 300 horses, plus backyard barns, were evacuated too late.

His daughter Lyndsey Bailey is in Manorville and has taken a few loads of horses out with Neptune's two horse trailer, but the bigger trailer is with her father on an out-of-town trip.

Will has been keeping in touch with his daughter via cellphone. He said she described it as a "horrifying" scene. Firefighters are surrounding Sundance Stables to try and ward off the flames, but Will said it seems like a few hundred horses will be lost if they aren't successful.

Trailers are being kept on the perimeter due to large hose lines across the roads, he said. People have to walk horses out at this point to get to the trailers.

Jessica Boyle of Bohemia, a backyard horse owner, had set up the Long Island Equine Disaster Preparedness page on Facebook ahead of Hurricane Irene and was using it to get the word out that trailers and shelter were needed.

At 6:40 p.m., Boyle told Patch horse trailers are still needed to go to Sundance Stables, Hidden Pond and Annie's Acres. They have to be able to arrive from Exits 69 to 70 on the Long Island Expressway.

"Then we need folks to offer shelter. There are names and phone numbers on the page," she said.

Boyle said there is "a convoy of empty trailers in Manorville. If you need help call or text 919-946-0924."

Sheltering the horses won't be a problem, Will Bailey said. "There's a list of barns that are opening their doors," he said, adding they are located throughout Suffolk County.

The Hampton Classic Horse Show office in Bridgehampton has been fielding calls, according to Shannette Barth Cohen, the executive director. "Unfortunately —I wish we had stalls and horse trailers — there's not a whole lot we can do physically, except try and spread the word," she said.

Workers at the Classic, like Kate Soroka, have been using the show's Facebook page, too, to spread information through its robust network. "People have already been commenting with more information," Barth Cohen said, such as, "I'm on my way with a two-horse trailer." One notice was shared 22 times, another 15. 

The Classic has also been in touch with stables on the East End, like Topping Riding Club in Sagaponack and Two Trees Stable in Bridgehampton.

Nik April 10, 2012 at 02:18 AM
We definitely need to organize a plan
Amy cars April 10, 2012 at 08:44 AM
I hope everyone gets out of this unscathed my heart goes out to all !
Elizabeth April 10, 2012 at 10:32 AM
This is not a good idea, loose horses would cause traffic accidents and both horses and humans would get hurt or killed. It would be better to tie up the horses in an empty car garage rather than having them loose on the roadways and private or public property.
myrna treuting April 10, 2012 at 11:09 AM
it was nice to see so many people come to help but was quite disorganized as people went into one farm and took horses without the owners permissions. Now people don't know where their horses are. Good idean is to have your name and phone number attatched to your horse in situations like this
Pandemonium April 10, 2012 at 12:25 PM
So wonderful to see how everyone came together to help:)


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