A horse drowned recently at Lake Wauburg in Florida during a training exercise designed to save large animals in emergency situations.
The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Technical Rescue Team was conducting training exercises designed for water rescue.
University spokeswoman Janine Sikes said the horse was owned by the team leader, UF veterinary college administrator John Haven.
“It is a heartbreaking accident and it occurred only moments after successfully demonstrating the same training with a different horse,” Sikes said.
The team was created to help save horses, livestock and other large animals in crisis situations. It also trains veterinarians and other emergency responders on moving injured animals and rescuing large animals in water and other emergencies.
The team had conducted at least six water-rescue training exercises without incident in the past three years, Sikes said. She said protocols of the training were based on similar programs around the country and reviewed by UF's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
The committee is intended to ensure UF follows federal law related to the use of animals in research and other cases.
Sikes said the university is reviewing whether protocols were followed in the horse's death, but she said she's not aware of any criminal investigations into the matter. She said she could not provide additional details about the incident.
“The incident is under review, and it would be premature to comment further,” she said.
About the author
As an animal lover since childhood, Flossie was delighted when Mark, the CEO and developer of EquiMed asked her to join his team of contributors.
She enrolled in My Horse University at Michigan State and completed a number of courses in everything related to horse health, nutrition, diseases and conditions, medications, hoof and dental care, barn safety, and first aid.
Staying up-to-date on the latest developments in horse care and equine health is now a habit, and she enjoys sharing a wealth of information with horse owners everywhere..