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Herculean evacuation effort at Ruidoso Downs

For those who haven’t seen it, Ruidoso and Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico have been under the threat of massive fires since Monday, June 17th. Several intentionally set fires (allegedly, suspects in custody) erupted into a 2 prong blaze that destroyed some 1400 structures and killed at least 2 people. The Downs were notified of a mandatory evacuation late on Tuesday afternoon, after one of the fires turned toward the racetrack. Between Tuesday afternoon and Thursday morning, some 6000 of the 7500 horses at the track were evacuated, thanks to the efforts of both professional and volunteer haulers. People showed up with everything from 2 horse to stock trailers, to big rigs to get the horses out. They were evacuated to Sunland Park and Frontera facilities in El Paso, as well as Expo New Mexico in Albuquerque. Many went to private facilities, fairgrounds, and livestock venues across southern New Mexico. Luckily the fire has thus far spared the track and the town of Ruidoso Downs, and the remaining horses are safe. There have been good rains (which caused some flash flooding in the burn zones) over the last 2 days, with high humidity which have helped the 1000+ fire fighters get a little ahead. Please spare a few positive thoughts and prayers for everyone in the Ruidoso community and most especially, for those fighting the fires.


It’s wonderful how horse people (and other people as well) come together during a disaster.

We’ve had some big fires in CO over the years, requiring evacuation of people and livestock. So many people brought trailers. Everyone did everything they could, and once all were evacuated, there were offers to house horses privately and donated hay for the horses in their temporary stabling at the local big venue. The local university Vet school had a truck with a Vet and students at the big venue 24 hrs.

It was years ago, but I volunteered to feed one long isle in the evenings since they wanted people with experience. I did catch an early colic and notified the lady in charge. When I was done feeding I went back to check on the horse and the Vet and students were attending.

There was a donkey that had herded his pasture mates to the safest place in a corner of their huge ranch pasture. He was singed by the heat but OK, and his horses were fine. :slightly_smiling_face:


Awwwwww… :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Good donk!

My ex-Boss (we keep in touch - she was The Best) lives in Deming. She posted on FB with pics from the local paper.
Scary stuff :disappointed_relieved:


Flooding at Ruidoso Downs from heavy rains after the fire.



Oh no! :slightly_frowning_face:

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This morning at Ruidoso Downs. Looks like they have the water diverted for now. Major flooding in Ruidoso yesterday, cars and pickups being carried down main roads by floods. If monsoon rain continues, this will be an ongoing issue for Ruidoso and the track all summer. Just so devastating to this little community.


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More flooding at the track today. They had just got everything pretty well put back together. :disappointed:

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Well like the FB page says, I will pray for Ruidoso.

It was real bad again today. More rain and flooding. Homes floating down the river. Track still a mess. This guys page documents the damage daily.

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Scary, tragic scenes.

Worst flooding at the track yet was yesterday. Flooded the paddock and went through the tunnel into the barn area. I have heard rumors they are shutting down the season and moving to Albuquerque, but have seen nothing official yet. Flood waters reached 25 feet in some places in Ruidoso yesterday.

Edited to add, it looks like it is official. Racing will be moved to Albuquerque for the remainder of the season.