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28 October 2014

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Berkshire Floods 2007

You are in: Berkshire > Features > Berkshire Floods 2007 > Lambourn stables evacuated

Horses in flood water

Lambourn stables evacuated

West Berkshire horse racing trainer Harry Dunlop had to mount an equine evacuation as flood waters took hold in Lambourn. He tells BBC Berkshire how he led 20 horses to safety.

"I've never seen anything like that before and people in Lambourn haven't seen anything quite like it."

Harry Dunlop sounds almost calm talking about it now but, at the time, yesterday's flood water posed a dramatic problem for the West Berkshire trainer.

"The volume of water was just unbelievable," he adds. "There was four feet of water in each box. It was all very exciting."

Flood water outside Harry Dunlop's stables

Flood water outside Windsor House


The water levels in one of Dunlop's two yards meant the priority became evacuating 20 horses. But how do you even know where to start?

"Very kindly a lot of local trainers helped me," says Harry.

"We could see the water rising and tried to make a few preparations before the banks broke.

"But there's nothing much you can do, other than try to get out and hope you survive."

Dunlop's 20 evacuees are now safe and well in temporary accommodation with nearby trainers Tor Sturgis and John Hills.

Harry Dunlop (left) in flooded yard

Harry (left) in his flooded yard

'Huge mess'

Hopes are high that all horses will be back home in the next few days - Harry says the yard now shows little sign of yesterday's trauma.

"It looks as if it never happened to be honest with you. There's very little water around, just a huge mess."

Funnily enough it seems the horses themselves are the least affected by the flooding.

"The horses seem to be fine," reports their trainer.

"In a moment of crisis they seem to just behave themselves and do what's asked, there were no dramas.

"Hopefully we'll have a runner on Tuesday, albeit a soggy one - and if there's a track to race on."

last updated: 23/07/07

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