Lightning Strike Blamed for Deaths of 5 New York Horses

August 21, 2009

The owners of five horses found dead in a central New York field say the animals likely were killed by a lightning strike during a violent storm earlier this week.

John Rancich says he found the horses lying in a meadow during a thunderstorm Tuesday evening. Five of the eight horses he kept on his 60-acre property outside Ithaca were dead.

Three of the dead horses belonged to Rancich, while the other two were owned by his friend, Kay Callahan. She says a veterinarian told them the horses had most likely been struck by lightning.

The horses were buried in the field where they died.

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