Horses rescued after tree smashes Lithia barn

Image 1 of 7

Six horses were trapped inside a Lithia barn after a tree toppled over this morning.

Kate Wells Waterford, the owner of Waterford Stables on Pelote Cemetery Road, posted on Facebook asking public’s help to rescue the horses. One was able to escape on its own, and about an hour later, the rest were pulled from the demolished barn.

"Just got the last horse out. All I can say is God is good. Not even a scratch on anyone," she wrote after the rescue. 

Kate and her husband, Albert, were both fast asleep when they heard the tree fall. They initially thought one of their horses was crushed. 

"Fortunately, that was not the case," explained Albert, who said he is a furloughed Coast Guard employee. "We are extremely lucky as far as the horses go. Right now, I'm running out of funds and didn't need something like this to deal with."

He said the horse community is close, and volunteers had already arrived Thursday morning to help clean up the mess.

The tree fell as a line of strong thunderstorms moved through Hillsborough County, and surrounding areas, Thursday morning. According to the Waterford Stables website, a family owns and operates the full-service horse business.