Cypress Trails Equestrian Center
Video captured live Monday shows tragedy and heroism as dozens of horses struggle to survive after a Houston area stable flooded. At least five horses drowned, eyewitnesses tell us.
Authorities responded to Cypress Trails Equestrian Center, home to over 80 horses after more than a foot of rain deluged parts of Houston in a 24 hour period. Horses worked to keep their heads above the rising flood waters as onlookers watched in horror.
Area resident Chris Kelley says he saw eight horses drown while he and others tried to help with the rescue. “I had to leave – I couldn’t stand it anymore.”
Some of the equines appear to panic, unable to free themselves because they were caught in a fence. Others were left in a barn.
The farm’s owner Darolyn Butler, an endurance rider, was safely evacuated by boat. The stable offers trail rides, horse boarding, training and other services, including equine facility set-up and design.
We contacted Butler but did not receive a response prior to publishing.
One mare struggled to keep her head above water and almost gave up from exhaustion. Onlookers’ cheers and screams pushed her to continue her fight. She was able to swim to higher ground and reportedly survived, however, we have been unable to confirm.
Local stable owner Jennifer Rowdy said it was chaos when the water’s current swept one horse away under a bridge. It never resurfaced. “Lots of people [were] yelling and throwing ropes over trying to see if it [the horse] would surface.”
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Locals continued working to save horses throughout the day. Rowdy says she questions news reports from some local media outlets and authorities that report all of the horses were saved. “That is a lie,” she adds. Rowdy says she thinks they are trying to keep people from worrying or going out there to help.
Others are questioning why the horses were not moved by Butler and her staff prior to the impending storm since the Cypress Trails property is known to flood. The farm resides in a floodplain, next to a flood-prone creek, which has previously caused issues for Butler. And locals say they knew the rainfall was coming for a week.
The true devastation met by the equines stabled at Cypress Trails may not be known until the flood waters recede. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue through Tuesday before the system weakens.
Authorities remain busy as hundreds of people have been rescued during the flood and at least five people are reported dead.