All human and equine residents survived the storm but the farm sustained major damage. Horse Nation spoke with boarder Victoria Tripiano as the farm starts the clean-up process.
Deadly storms tore across Alabama on Tuesday night, November 29 into Wednesday morning, November 30, and Flint Ridge Farm of Huntsville took a direct hit.”A tornado dropped between the house and the barns,” confirmed Flint Ridge boarder Victoria Tripiano. “The main barn roof is completely gone and there’s damage to that barn. The second barn is half blown away; what’s standing is missing the roof. The indoor arena is completely demolished.”
Primarily a dressage barn but also serving eventers, jumpers and hobby riders, Flint Ridge Farm offers lessons, boarding and showing opportunities to northern Alabama. Fortunately, all of the horses on the property survived the storm with remarkable resilience and the human residents of Flint Ridge are all okay as well. “The horses are all okay; the vet is here right now having to stitch some up with injuries. We’re also sedating some to keep them calm.”
The property also sustained major damages to fencing and the pastures are littered with debris. The farm’s collection of jumps is nearly completely gone. Victoria shared this video with us to show the full extent of the damage:
Looking at the destruction via video, it’s remarkable that all the horses survived only requiring some stitches, especially with the total demolition of the indoor arena and adjoining shed.
In the midst of this destruction, however, the community has come together to show its support. “There are people here helping that I don’t even know!” Victoria told HN. “We’re getting tons of help. There are people from a local church here to help clean up. It’s amazing!”
Once the horses are all stable and treated by the vet if necessary, Victoria believes they will likely need to be shipped to a nearby farm until repairs can be completed at Flint Ridge. “No more major storms are in the immediate forecast, but it’s going to get pretty cold soon,” Victoria added.
Flint Ridge Farm has started a GoFundMe page if you are interested in making a monetary donation to help the farm clean up and rebuild. Flint Ridge Farm is also active on Facebook, where you can follow for more updates about storm recovery. Our best wishes go to Flint Ridge Farm in the recovery and clean-up process.
Standard Disclaimer: Horse Nation has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the GoFundMe account nor does Horse Nation assure that the monies deposited will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit or donation you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
Update 12/1/16 5:26 PM: Natalie Weil of Flint Ridge Farm provided Horse Nation with an update on conditions at the farm. Two of the injured horses have been transported to the local veterinarian; both are expected to fully recover. The third injured horse belongs to a boarder and is able to remain stalled in a roofless barn to protect her stitches. All three of the injured horses were pasture boarded; the horses inside the barn did not sustain injuries.
“Yesterday we had over 60 people, many of which we did not know, came to help us clean up and repair what we could,” Natalie noted. “We were able to clear enough of the pastures to be safe for the horses, and we put up many temporary fences to keep the horses away from the debris that is difficult to clear (glass from the mirrors in the indoor arena, siding, walls, etc.). The barn aisle is now completely clear and the remaining ceiling removed and ready for new roofing. The local roofing company came out as soon as they could yesterday and ordered and delivered some of the material needed to start repairs. My dad is there today, he let me know that they have already begun work on the roof!”
The farm insurance does cover the barns, shed and house on the property, but unfortunately the indoor arena was not covered. Additionally, there is immediate need for hay and shavings, as much of what was stored on the property is now peppered with shattered glass. Compounded with the drought in the southeast this year, the farm is having a difficult time finding hay. The GoFundMe page linked above is raising funds to help defray of these new materials, as well as to help replace fencing and the indoor arena.
“Heidi, and her mother Diana, the owners of the farm, are doing an excellent job of keeping it together for everyone,” Natalie added. “We are all shaken by the reality that sometimes there is little you can do to protect what you love.”