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USEF sets up relief for Tornado-ravaged areas

From the Newstrader - March 15th, 2012 - Newstrader

The duo of tornadic storms that devastated the southeast U.S. earlier this month left a wake of splintered wood, shattered glass, downed power lines, despair and shock for the residents of towns like West Liberty, Kentucky and Harrisburg, Illinois to clean up and recover from. As if that weren’t enough, one of the region’s heaviest snowfalls of the year then followed and further hindered an already difficult recovery process. For some affected residents, the physical and monetary burdens of recovery are intensified by the need to care for their horse or horses. The United States Equestrian Federation hasd stepped up to assist with the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

With the support of its CEO John Long, the USEF is asking that equestrians, equestrian fans, and all people who share a love for horses make a donation to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund.

“These recent storms have struck the heart of horse country and have made the cost of relocating, feeding, and caring for horses overwhelming,” said a statement form the Kentucky-based USEF. “With your help we can do our part to make sure horses are not overlooked, forgotten, or abandoned and help to relieve the burden of effected horse owners and caretakers in this and in future times of crisis.”

Kentucky was among the hardest hit by the twisters. Farm operators William and Rhonda McCardle lost 15 of the Quarter Horses residing in a barn on their Crittendon, Ky., property when the tornado struck, demolishing the structure. Two horses remain missing. Two surviving horses, a yearling and a 2-week-old foal, were later discovered alive in the barn rubble. Those animals were placed under care at a veterinary hospital in Lexington, Ky., said Sue Haynes, friend of the McCardle family. On March 5 the yearling died as a result of his injuries, Haynes said.

According to the National Weather Service, 42 confirmed tornadoes tore through Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio on March 2. The storms packed winds as high as 180 mph, knocking out utilities and flattening homes and barns. All told, the confirmed human death toll reached 39, according to the agency. The number of horses lost or injured as a result of the storms is still uncertain.

To most effectively deliver aid, this fund was established with the goal of getting horses the help they need, when they need it.

“It is important to understand this fund is a dollar in and a dollar out,” added Long. “Nothing is withheld.”

Any donation to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund equates to timely and efficient help for horses and horse owners, he said.

Having originated during the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund was formed to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of horses during trying times. Money donated to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund is used to prepare for disasters and assists equids of any breed who are victims of disasters including but not restricted to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards and fires. Money donated to the fund is held by the USEF in an account restricted for this purpose. Money from the fund can only be disbursed upon the authorization of the USEF Chief Executive Officer.

Donation checks may be made payable to: USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund, and mailed to: United States Equestrian Federation, 4047 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, KY 40511. Donors also may participate online at: http://bit.ly/23B_USEF

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