5-21-13 UPDATE: Orr Family Farm has annouced some positive news on their Facebook page, including the survival of all of their Animal Farm animals, as well as their pony ride ponies. Further, they state: We have more positive news to report. Celestial Acres, a horse training facility on the adjacent property of the Farm, was also severely hit in the tornado yesterday. At this time, we can confirm that there are 34 surviving horses and their prognosis of health is good to excellent.”
Recovery efforts continue, with equine relief efforts being organized by several associations including the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association and the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma. Many of the horses stabled at Celestial Acres were racehorses, due to the close proximity to Remington Park in Oklahoma City. For more information on relief efforts and how you can help, visit the American Quarter Horse Association’s website at www.aqha.com.
An OQHRA press release states: “In a joint statement released by the Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma (TRAO) and the Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association (OQHRA) the associations announce creation of a Benevolence Account for horsemen impacted by the storms. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in Oklahoma following this horrific event. There are many horsemen who have been affected by this tragedy and have lost everything they own.
“Celestial Acres, which rents out stalls to multiple trainers, took a direct hit along with the highly publicized damage at the Orr Family Farms. Both horsemen’s organizations along with Remington Park in Oklahoma City are working together in coordinating relief to horsemen that have been affected by the storm. Both offices have been encouraged by the outpouring of support and offers for help from across the country; it truly displays “horsemen helping horsemen.” Many of those horsemen have lost everything – horses, possessions, tack and equipment, and their homes. They have many needs that cannot be met by traditional social agencies. The TRAO and the OQHRA will be jointly accepting donations for horsemen who were affected by this tragic event. All donations will be distributed directly to horsemen and their families that were affected by the storms in this area.
“If you want to make a donation using a credit or debit card please call OQHRA at 405-216-0440. Checks should be made payable to either TRAO Benevolence Fund or OQHRA Benevolence Fund and put 2013 Tornado on the memo line. Your donations may be sent to: Oklahoma Quarter Horse Racing Association, P.O. Box 2907, Edmond, OK 73083 or Thoroughbred Racing Association of Oklahoma, 2620 NW Expressway, Suite A, Oklahoma City, OK 73112.
“We are still in the process of evaluating the need for additional help for these families and are working together with the Oklahoma racetracks to coordinate activities and support services for our racing community. Donations can also be made via paypal https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=5EW5MY6QC5KPN
5-20-13: Oklahoma City News Channel 4 interviewed exercise rider Lando Hyde, who survived the tornado in a horse stall at Celestian Acres. Watch the video here: http://kfor.com/2013/05/20/moore-man-survives-tornado-in-horse-stall/
The massive E5 tornado that ripped through Moore, Okla. on May 20, killing dozens of people, has taken an equine toll, as well. Up to 100 horses are feared dead after a massive tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City area. Read more: http://horsetalk.co.nz/2013/05/21/heavy-horse-toll-twister-destroys-farm/#ixzz2TtBPzxu2
Orr Family Farm’s website and Facebook page state: “Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We are sorry we cannot reply to each of you at this time, as we are focusing on our staff, families and the Farm. We are physically alright, but we have sustained a large amount of damage at the Farm and adjacent properties. We are still assessing damage to both properties and animals. We will post more updates as they become available.”