Seven horses were killed in a lightning strike in Maarhese, Netherlands

Seven horses were killed in a lightning strike in Maarhese. The owner of Paardenrusthuis Ogier, a sort of retirement home where old horses spend their last years, happened to be in the pasture when it happened.

The weather suddenly turned bad at about 2 p.m., he said. The horses, about 26 in all, gathered together and went out into the meadow. “The horses usually stand with their backs against the wind so their heads don’t get wet,” the owner explained.

After a while, the horses returned. But not together, but scattered. “I thought it was strange. When they got closer, I saw piles on the ground in the distance. Bad news, I thought at once.” He drove closer in his tractor and saw seven dead horses lying side by side on the ground.

“They were definitely killed by lightning. The burns and discoloration under their tails confirm it,” said veterinarian Van der Ploeg. It happens from time to time, but mostly only to individual animals. That speaks to the strength of the lightning strike, Van der Ploeg said. “The thunderstorm was so strong. I think they died in one fell swoop, that the horses didn’t feel any pain.” A little bit of luck in an accident, if you ask my opinion.”

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