Tryon Equestrian Center to help hundreds of horses escape Hurricane Irma

More than 100 horses from Florida are already being housed at the Tryon Equestrian Center, to escape the path of Hurricane Irma. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Tryon Equestrian Center is expecting to take in hundreds of horses from Florida over the coming days as Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, makes its way toward the state.

“We had one shipment come in around 7 a.m. this morning,” said Molly Oakman, director of Equestrian Operations. “We anticipate in the next 48 hours that those 600 plus(additional horses) will arrive."

A large portion of them are expected to be trucked from Wellington, a well-known affluent horse-centric hunter, show-jumper and dressage community just west of Palm Beach. Oakman said Tryon's barns are already pre-booked with Florida horses whose owners are taking precautions to get their prized steeds out of harm’s way.

“We anticipate a lot of horses coming quickly, with a lot of people in somewhat of a panic by being displaced from their homes," she said.

Eleven horses are already being housed at the center and over 600 stalls have been reserved for horses being transported to North Carolina.

The facility is opening its over 1,000 stalls at a daily discounted rate.

"There are a lot of horses and a lot of people that have to be evacuated. So, of course, a lot of people are taking tact to come here because it gets them deeper into the western part of the state and off the coast totally," Sharon Decker, the COO of Tryon Equestrian Center, said.

The center is also discussing creating extra spaces in an outdoor arena if more people want to come.

Tryon Equestrian Center is gathering supplies for the influx of horses, including hay and shavings. Oakman said Tryon had more than 8,000 bags of shavings for stall bedding and 1,200 bales of hay.

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