evacuation

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evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:40 pm

All the horses made it to the racetrack just fine. It was a lot of driving since I had to make 2 trips, but it was worth every second. The track has very nice stalls that were clean and ready to accept horses. They even let people use the jockey rooms/trailer parking, showers, kitchen. We made reservations in a hotel about 20 miles away, but if I had known that there were jockey rooms, I would have packed bedding and stayed at the track. next time, I'll know. The jockey rooms let you keep small animals too, so no issues with kitties.

The horses settled right into their stalls. They were fascinated with the straw bedding and all the other new faces. They just munched their hay and seemed to think nothing of the howling wind/rain as the storm passed through. The stalls are set back under a nice wide roof, and there are little screens that shade the doors from sun/wind, so we were actually very protected. I stayed with them as long as I thought was safe, but I had to leave so I could drive to the hotel. That was quite an adventure! I left contact info on each stall, but no one needed to call us.

The kitties traveled like champs. Gateway had the smallest meows when we first started, but he settled quickly. I made sure to put him in the middle of the back floor of the truck. He seems to have less of an upset tummy there. So, once he was done letting me know that he wasn't happy, he just went to sleep. I made sure to give him Rescue Remedy whenever we stopped. He was a sleepy little guy that night! GK and Petie traveled well, and Petie settled right in where ever we stopped. GK is a panicky guy and hid under anything/everything. But, he did as well as he could. He peed outside the box once, but then settled enough to use it the right way.

The return trip was uneventful. It involved a LOT of cleaning since I had to strip 3 stalls bedded with deep straw. But, (I had a mystery helper in the cleanup mode too. My stalls got done twice as quick as they should have and I never saw the person who was helping me!) I still say that it was worth everything. The track didn't charge us a penny for anything. They provided a wonderful, safe environment and very nice people to help us. The Richmond Southern States cooperative had people on hand to sell straw/food/hay if you needed it when you arrived. It's amazing how well the horse community can come together.
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Re: evacuation

Post by jeanebellini on Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:07 pm

maybe some folks should get together and do a dinner or something for the people at the track since they were so good about everything. (Or have a fund raiser for the possibility of having to use it again). There was someone (I want to say his name was Charlie..i just heard the gov mention him) here in NJ who had been stock piling bottles of water and i think those ready to eat meals for emergencies for the shelters. (not a regular person,it was someone who knew what to get and had a place to store it). but it was a good idea!
I've never been around horse people...just the few horses that lived out in the country where i grew up...so i don't know how they react to thing. But the ones around you,becky, seem like a good thoughtful level headed group:)
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Re: evacuation

Post by Suzzzz on Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:32 pm

By God, Becky, those track people were stars! And so were your crew, BTW. I'm so glad everyone was so accepting and calm; they no doubt had an excellent example in their Mom. I love you

I agree the track folks (and your mystery helper!?!) deserve a huge thank you. If you want to tell us who they are, I'll at least write a note.

Darling, you must be exhausted. I'm seeing this post first and will look elsewhere here for news of what home was like when you got there, but if you haven't posted already, please tell us.

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Re: evacuation

Post by Sue Short on Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:33 pm



Becky, so glad everything went well. The track people really deserve a well done, a very well done.
I would love to send them a note also. What was the name of the track? Glad to hear the kitties did well.
You must be exhausted. That was awesome that the feed people set up and were able to help.

From what you said about straw I gather you bed on shavings at home. When I lived in Illinois bedding was
mainly straw with corn cobs underneath. It's wasn't like the corn based cat litter but cobs that had been chopped up.
Very absorbent.
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Re: evacuation

Post by fiffur on Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:34 pm

I'd also like to give that track my thanks for helping you and others like you with horses. If you have their email addy I'll send one off asap.

Glad your horses had such a good experience considering the circumstances.
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Re: evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:37 pm

Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent, VA is the place. http://www.colonialdowns.com/contact/ Harness racing starts next month. I will definitely be attending some races. (And maybe working from the track since they have wireless service. Cool )
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Re: evacuation

Post by ARNIgal on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:19 pm

Seeing stories like this makes me want to be a horse person! Smile Like a Star @ heaven
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Re: evacuation

Post by Suzzzz on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:27 pm

I did send them a little thank you note for helping my friends (and so many others) via their contact page. I actually got an email back almost immediately from someone who thanked me (!) and promised to share it along. Nice folks. But I guess we knew that!
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Re: evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:41 pm

It is a beautiful place, and I've always found nice people working there. This experience opened my eyes to how much goes on behind the grandstand. I have issues with a lot of things in horse racing, but I think this has taught me that the people involved professionally actually do have the horses' interests in mind. I will be a regular at the track and will definitely pass along the good stories!
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Re: evacuation

Post by Sue Short on Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:08 pm



I also sent them a thank you note. They really went above and beyond.
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Re: evacuation

Post by fiffur on Fri Sep 02, 2011 12:33 pm

I've also sent them a note of thanks.
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Re: evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:48 pm

I did too. I hope we don't have to visit again. There's another storm out there. It needs to turn north and die at sea. I feel bad for the people on the Gulf Coast. They're going to get soaked. Crying or Very sad And there's still poor Vermont! (The Humane Society of the US has articles on their rescue efforts in NJ and Vermont. Sad but good stuff.)
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Re: evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:45 pm

Here are some pix of the horses at the race track. Envoy was on his way, and my husband only took pictures of X and Sabi. http://gallery.me.com/becky.paquet#100084
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Re: evacuation

Post by Suzzzz on Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:28 pm

Becky, darling, thank you for emailing me the pictures. They're wonderful! So Sabi and X were in adjacent stalls? I guess I assumed they were, but it's very good to see. They look so calm, though they must have been worried. X seems to be looking about as much as possible, scoping out the circs, making sure of Sabi, maybe looking for Envoy. That big bale of hay close by must have been reassuring. tongue Did Envoy get in next to them when he arrived?

The shadows really show X's bones still, don't they? Poor old boy. Yet nothing like before! He looks healthy and bright-eyed, not to mention beautifully groomed & cared for. You've done wonders with him, Becky.

Now if only he'd stop rolling in the glorious rainbow of available mud & crap at home! Probably not possible. It's like dressing a kid in his best clothes 30 minutes before the wedding, then letting his squirmy self go outside for a few minutes. Yelling after him, "But don't get dirty!" rarely works. Very Happy

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Re: evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:41 pm

Sabi was on one side and Envoy was on the other side. I wanted to be sure he had buddies on both sides. My friend's horses were right next door too. The track people did an amazing job at booking stalls for people. When we checked in, we could request stalls next to each other.

X really has gained a bunch of weight. That one picture makes him look skinny, and he still is thin. But, it was really hot that day, and he had sweated in the trailer. The sweat and the shadows make him look like a rack of bones. I am going to try to take pictures this weekend. The weather has not been cooperating!

I seriously doubt that he'll stop rolling. I'd worry if he did. Horses love to roll and they love to be dirty. As much as we want them to be gleaming and clean, it's probably healthier for them to be dirty. Razz
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Re: evacuation

Post by fiffur on Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:48 am

Well, it is harder to get bitten by flies and skeeters if they have to bite through a layer of dirt.
I can see X still have some filling out to do, but he's better than he was.
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Re: evacuation

Post by ARNIgal on Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:41 pm

Does that racetrack regularly take in evacuees? It looks like a really solid place that wouldn't blow over for anythin...
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Re: evacuation

Post by bpaquet on Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:17 pm

The track does open quite often for evacuations. They have 1000 stalls, so it's a good place in the middle of the state. We also have a state fairgrounds close to Richmond and the Virginia Equestrian Center in the western part of the state. The horse community really does come together in the face of potential disaster.

The stalls at the track really are solid. The buildings are made of cinder block, and the roofs have tie-downs. They also have spaces in the right places to keep the wind from getting under and blowing the roofs off. I felt very safe there.
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Re: evacuation

Post by fiffur on Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:35 pm

Now you have a good place to go in case another hurricane blows through your neck of the woods. Sounds like whoever designed the place built it with potential disaster in mind.
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Re: evacuation

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