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Published April 02, 2009, 12:00 AM

Equine Center cares for displaced horses

NDSU facility steps in to give shelter to 120
People in the Red River Valley weren’t the only ones displaced by the Red River flood. Horses needed a place to sleep, too.

By: Jeff Kolpack, INFORUM

People in the Red River Valley weren’t the only ones displaced by the Red River flood. Horses needed a place to sleep, too.

It’s kept Shannon Eck hopping since last Thursday, when her phone at the North Dakota State University Equine Science Center started ringing from people looking to temporarily house their horses.

The Equine Center, on 19th Avenue North just west of Interstate 29, made room for an additional 120 horses. As the manager, Eck has been responsible for accommodating them.

“Now we have to play keep-up,” she said. “We have to keep getting enough bedding, hay and supplies.”

The foreign surroundings spooked some horses, especially the first night, when the majority of them were transported to the center.

“The barnyard was rather loud,” Eck said. “But they have gotten used to their surroundings, although a couple that are not used to the stall are still a little nervous.”

There is no charge for the emergency shelter. Eck said the owners who brought horses to the center have been good about bringing their own supplies. Volunteers have helped with care and exercising the horses during the day. Some local businesses also have donated supplies.

The center usually has between 70 and 110 horses during the school year. Before the flood, Eck estimated there were 85, so adding 120 has made for a crowded house. She said she can fit a few more.

“I’ll have to do a little rearranging,” she said.

Eck said the fairgrounds in West Fargo have also taken in many horses. She estimates it will be between one and three weeks before most of them return to their familiar barns.

“Most of their barns are under water right now,” Eck said. “That’s the part now that’s up in the air.”


Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 10 a.m. to noon on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia

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