Local News

Horse receives electric shock, dies at State Fairgrounds

Posted July 19, 2010 10:01 a.m. EDT
Updated July 19, 2010 1:13 p.m. EDT

— A horse died at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds Saturday after receiving an electric shock and hitting its head on a stall, officials said Monday.

Breeze, an 8-year-old quarter-horse owned by Stacey McAden of South Hill, Va., was participating in a National Barrel Horse Association barrel-racing event at the Hunt Horse Complex at the fairgrounds.

The horse died between 4 and 5 p.m. Saturday in Barn A at the complex. Brian Long, a spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, said the horse became agitated after getting shocked and started thrashing about in its stall.

Fairgrounds staff called an electrician to the scene, and he found a short in the wiring. Power to the barn was cut off, and other horses in the barn were moved to other barns at the horse complex, Long said.

Electricians examined the wiring in the barn again Monday morning and focused on an exterior light, which may have contributed to a short circuit, he said.

"It's just an unfortunate accident that we would like to make sure we can prevent from happening again," Long said. "We want to do everything we can to get to the root of the problem and correct it."

The dead horse was taken to the Rollins Veterinary Diagnostic Lab for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

McAden said her horse died from trauma it suffered after the shock. She said she is grateful for the support the area equestrian community has shown her in recent days.

A quarter-horse show is planned at the Hunt Horse Complex for the coming weekend, and Long said it would go on as planned. Technicians will inspect the wiring in the other barns at the complex to ensure they're safe, but Barn A will remain closed, he said.