By Erich Maynard
STOUGHTON – Thirty-three horses, including Stonehill’s Equestrian team’s six horses, were relocated after a barn roof collapsed under the weight of snow the afternoon of Feb. 15. None of the horses were harmed.
Dry Water Farm in Stoughton had to relocate the horses after discovering the roof caving in on Sunday, Feb. 15 around 1:30 p.m. Dry Water farm is the facility that Stonehill uses to board their horses for the equestrian team.
Kayleigh McDonnell, co-captain of the Stonehill Equestrian team, said she was immediately notified of the incident by her coach.
“There are no words to describe what an awful situation this could have been. I was just happy to know that all of the horses and people in the barn were okay,” McDonnell said.
Fortunately, all six of Stonehill’s horses were relocated to Kingsway Farm in Halifax Massachusetts, which will not affect the team from competing. The rest of the horses in the barn were moved to four other barns in the area.
“For now we have moved to Kingsway Farm located in Halifax, Massachusetts. It is about 30 minutes away from Stonehill. It is a bit further than Drywater Farm but we are all just so grateful Kingsway welcomed us with open arms. We have the opportunity to finish our season strong,” McDonnell said.
Dry Water Farm was built in 2001. While New England barns are built to withstand snow, the record amounts of snow that has fallen has lead to a number of roof collapses throughout the area.
The barn on Dry Water Farm is 20 feet long, and 150 feet wide, and can hold up to 43 horses.
Due to the extensive damage from the snow, it is projected that one-third of the barn will have to be replaced, about 200 feet long and 30 feet wide will be replaced.
Within three hours of the roof collapse, all 33 horses were safely moved from the barn and onto trailers, heading to temporary barns.
“We put a message out on out Facebook page and it brought horse trailers, and people volunteering space for the horses, it was just amazing how the response of the community was just mind blowing,” said Davie McNamara, owner of the farm.
The Facebook post brought in over 9,000 responses offering help.
“Of course the Stoughton Fire Department was here, they had two engines here, and it was just an unbelievable response, there were a lot of heroes on this property,” McNamara said.