Friday, May. 24, 2024

Quail Run Horse Centre Cleans Up After Historic Flooding

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Quail Run Horse Centre Inc., in Elkhorn, Nebraska, suffered extensive damage caused by flooding that affected much of the Midwest the week of March 13. A bomb cyclone storm dropped heavy rain on land that was already dealing with snow melt, leading to disastrous flooding in several states. 

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts declared a state of emergency on March 16, and he later said on Twitter that nearly every region of the state experienced “historic flooding and extreme weather.” Ricketts told NPR the state has estimated $400 million in cow calf losses, $445 million in crop losses, $349 million in infrastructure, as well as $85 million in business and homes.”

“We thought we had prepared enough,” said Quail Run owner, Jim Urban. “We went to bed Thursday the 14th, and we’d moved everything above the 100-year flood line, but we woke up to rapidly rising waters.”

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The show stabling at Quail Run Equestrian Centre was completely underwater after extreme flooding. Photos courtesy of Jim Urban

Urban founded Quail Run in 1987 with his wife, Patrice Urban. They offer hunter/jumper riding lessons, train and sell horses, and host A-rated horse shows. They also grow crops on the 240-acre property— though most of their fields were flooded—and also manage horse shows in the Omaha area.

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“The good news is that our main barn is safe, and all of our horses and people are safe,” Jim said. “We lost a tremendous amount of equipment: two or three hunter courses, two full jumper courses—we just watched them float down the river. One of my sons went out in a boat to fish for jump poles. We lost tractors, horse trailers, campers, a lot of show equipment. Once [our ring] dries out we’ll scrape the sludge and silt and slime off and see what footing is left.” 

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Jim’s son, Tom Urban, manages the farm. He and his wife Dannee Urban evacuated their house on the property, but it sustained relatively little damage.

Much of the surrounding community is dealing with the same challenges, and organizations like the local Pony Club and the North Hills Hunt have offered their support. Those wishing to donate money for recovery efforts may do so at this fundraising page.

“People, horses and main barn are now safe; that’s the most important part,” Jim said. “But we took a hit that will be a tough one from which to bounce back. We’re supposed to have a horse show in three weeks, and the boys still want to pull it off!”

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The Urbans lost trucks, trailers and other supplies when the floodwaters rose.

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