Ten days left in the year and we’re into the top 10 on our 14 for 2014 list of the most popular stories.
The winter of 2013-’14 was certainly one to remember and the current edition of the snowy season is shaping up as a real doozy, especially in western New York not far from Fort Erie Race Track just across the Canadian border. Snow came down by the foot – yes feet, not inches – in mid-November just outside Buffalo, forcing the closure of the Interstate that connects that part of the state to western Pennsylvania.
The stretch is also frequented that time of year by horse vans taking loads of Thoroughbreds south for the winter, away from Woodbine to warmer locales in Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida and Louisiana.
One load was on its way as the Woodbine meeting wound down but could get no further than the last few miles before the border crossing. Given the choice of returning to Woodbine or going to Fort Erie, the van driver opted for the latter. The only problem was Fort Erie was closed for the season, water turned off, barns emptied out, provisions at a bare minimum and probably nothing more than leftovers from the summer season.
The racing community being just that, a community, took quick action and the 16 southbound horses were bedded down in the Fort Erie stakes barn. A spokeswoman for the track called it an equine “B&B.”
The horses didn’t stay long, finally getting the all clear a few days later once the weather crisis was under control in the area. Tom Law’s piece, “Snowbirds,” got a lot of attention on our social networking channels and is the No. 10 story on our 14 for 2014 list of most popular stories for the year.
No. 10: Snowbirds
Other stories in the 14 for 2014.
No. 11: Goodbye Dominic
No. 12: For Madison