LOPE Damaged by Floods

Texas racehorse rescue damaged by floods.

By Martha Claussen
February 3, 2012

Generic Racing Photo

LoneStar Outreach to Place Ex-Racers (LOPE), a Texas-based non-profit which has successfully transitioned over 800 Texas racehorses into new careers, had a major crisis last month.

On January 25, a very unusual flash flood occurred in the town of Cedar Creek, Texas, just outside of Austin, Texas. Between the hours of 2:00 am and 5:00 am, approximately 7-9 inches of rain fell, resulting in massive flooding. The LOPE ranch had nearly six feet of water, and LOPE founder Lynn Reardon, her husband, Tom and their house pets had to be evacuated by rescue boat from their house. Four of the LOPE horses were evacuated from a pasture that had become flooded as well.

The ranch damage is very serious. The LOPE's ranch truck was totaled and their tractor, mowing equipment and other tools were severely damaged or destroyed. Much of the fencing was destroyed and although the barn structure is intact, nearly all of LOPE's stored hay was damaged and had to be discarded and many of the equine supplies and tack items were damaged or lost.

The good news is that all the of LOPE horses are safe; Reardon is making arrangements to have several of them fostered for the next few months while the repairs are underway.

While the Reardons' flood insurance will cover much of the repair for the house, their property insurance does not cover fencing or barn content damage due to flood. Since its inception in 2003, LOPE has worked tirelessly on over 800 placements, each individually crafted to reflect the personality of the horse and prospective owner. Some of the LOPE graduates have become successful show horses, children’s riding horses or trail riding companions.

Several of the area veterinarians have put together a hay fundraiser for LOPE, matching donations to their PayPal account for "virtual" bales of hay. LOPE is need of donations to help with foster horse boarding, fencing, hay, ranch repair and equipment purchases. Financial donations will be gratefully accepted via PayPal or by check and LOPE has also offered a suggested list, which includes:

• Gift cards to Tractor Supply, Lowe’s or other stores with fencing and ranch supplies
• Gift cards to Valley Vet Supply or other tack/barn/vet supply stores
• 10 ft gates for replacing pasture gates damaged or lost in flood
• T-posts and cedar posts for fencing
• Road base for driveway repair
• Sandy footing for round pen
• Stall mats

For more information on this outstanding 501(c)(3) non-profit organization,
see http://www.lopetx.org/flood-update/