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2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Hurricane
 By Winniefield Park   •   11th Sep 2018   •   672 views   •   0 comments


The 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) is set to begin September 11, 2018 near Mill Springs, North Carolina. But, a weather emergency threatens the games. At this point, it's not known what the exact track of the hurricane will be, or how intense the storm will be once it hits. The coastal regions of North Carolina are being warned that the category 4 hurricane will start to affect them by Tuesday with the full force hitting by Friday. At this time, the southernmost and eastern counties of the state have been issued with watches and warnings. Evacuations of animals and people have already started in coastal areas of North Carolina and three other states. Weather watchers expect the warnings and watches to expand as the hurricane moves closer to the coast and makes landfall.

The Tryon Equestrian Center, which is the main venue of the WEG is located in the western portion of the state, just above the South Carolina border. This location is west of the projected track of Hurricane Florence so the 800 horses, riders, grooms, support persons, volunteers and of course spectators, may not be in the path of the worst of the storm. But shifts in the projected track of the storm are entirely possible. Even though the location is not in the direct path, high winds, heavy rains and lightning storms are still possible.

WEG organizers are going full speed ahead with the competitions, assuring spectators that they are well out of the computer modeled track of the storm. For current information spectators can text WEG 2018 to 888777 for weather and emergency notifications. Organizers have reported that the stabling and buildings are safe and emergency and evacuation plans are in place if they are needed.

In other parts of the Carolinas however, horses and people are evacuating inland. With very heavy rainfall and high winds predicted, riding out the storm may be dangerous. Various stables have already moved their horses further inland. The state of South Carolina has suspended some of its animal evacuation requirements. Temporarily waived is the requirement for Coggins or vet inspection certificates if they aren’t required by the state the horse is from.

Some horses will not be evacuated. Wild horses that live on the Carolina coasts will be on their own. Chincoteague ponies, Corollas Island horses and others living on the Outer Banks are expected to use their instincts to survive the storm. It’s felt that to catch and transport any of them would be more stressful than leaving them to fend for themselves.

For those in the path of the hurricane and facing evacuation order, experts are advising to evacuate early, using marked evacuation routes. If you have pets they should be crated. Take along any relevant paperwork, clear photos of your pet should they get lost and at least five days worth of food. Horses left behind should have ID tags secured to them. Most commonly, ID tags are braided securely into horse’s manes or tails. Horses should be left with plenty of clean water, ample food and checked when possible.

For those of you in the storm’s path, stay safe!

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