Julie Barringer-Richers, former barn manager at Autumn Hill International Equestrian Center just up the two-lane highway in Longmont, where she directs the children's dressage program, had to implement the evacuation plan she'd created for 43 horses within five minutes after 70 mph winds caused the fire to shift suddenly.
"Within 10 minutes we had one trailer with five horses going out," she
said the evacuation went smoothly because of advance preparation that included constant communication with owners, neighboring barns and the evacuation destination; using a master list to check out horses as they loaded; having sufficient access to and egress from the barn; and prioritizing volunteers' tasks (load horses, then hay and tack).
had required boarders attach two sets of dog tags to the halter side ring: one with the horse's name, owner's name and phone number; the other with the horse's name, barn name, and phone number.She
also stationed herself in a central location to be visible and accessible.She
created a calling tree to mobilize immediate help, which had detailed information about truck and or trailer availability, and urges trailer owners to keep them in good working order and the partitions in place.She
plans to create an index of more detailed information to include the specifications, ball size, and license plate number. She
also watched out for owners having difficulty loading their horses, stepping in if they couldn't load the horse after three attempts, to avoid increasing the horse's anxiety.
"Slant load trailers saved the day every time," she