Each hurricane season, Full Gallop Farm in Aiken takes in horses that have to evacuate the coast.
Owner Lara Anderson expects about 50 horses to ride out Hurricane Dorian at her Aiken Farm. Some come from Florida, but most come from South Carolina.
“If I were in that situation, I’d want to have a place to go,” Anderson says. “I think everybody wants to help everybody out when there in a situation because we can feel the pain too…I’ve been in tornadoes…so I understand devastation and when you’ve been through that, you understand what people have to go through. You wan to do everything you possibly can in your power to help them out.”
Horse owners Holly Evans and Carl Ekroth have evacuated to Full Gallop Farm in the past. They came during Hurricane Matthew when there were almost 300 horses, other animals and pet owners staying there.
“This is a wonderful facility because we can ride in rings. We have an outdoor riding area that we can ride in if you want to jump you can jump so you can not just evacuate, but you can keep riding your horse,” Evans points out.
Full Gallop Farm also allows horse owners to bring their dogs and other animals.
“Everybody in the horse world has dogs so we have 2 schnauzers in that truck over there and I’m in charge of walking them throughout here and it’s a nice place to walk,” says Ekroth.
Evans and Ekroth left Spring Island, SC, which is near Beaufort. The fresh water was cut off to their island so they did not have much of a choice. They are grateful for a familiar place to go.
“It means a lot. We have a place that’s about 116 miles that’s easy to get to that we can pack all of our animals up and know that we’re going to be in a safe comfortable place to ride out a storm,” Evans says.
Like them, some of the same horse owners have come to Full Gallop Farm multiple years in a row so they have become friends despite unfortunate circumstances.