At this point, we have all likely seen the images of the devastation wrought by hurricane Ian several weeks ago in western Florida. Char-O-Lot Ranch, an Appaloosa main stay, was in the path of the hurricane and was not spared from the destruction.
Based on social media posts, the farm sustained the full wrath of Ian, 8 hours of 140 mph winds. During the worst of the storm, Cheryl Schembri and assistant trainer Chelsea Reynolds went to check on the horses and found that the roof had started to peel off of the show barn. These two brave horsewomen then spent the night in the half bath in the show barn to keep an eye on the horses and all the weanlings which were in the barn.
Luckily, all humans and animals, including the cats and dogs, made it through the storm unharmed. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the farm. The ranch lost several barns, lots of fence and dealt with extensive flooding. As the true horsemen the Schembri family is, they were dealing the immediate aftermath of the storm while taking in evacuee horses from the area who were facing four feet of flood waters.
In the immediate aftermath, fellow Appaloosa family Dawn and McKenzie Watt drove across the state to bring donations of shavings, fans, first aid and other supplies to the farm to help.
The long term clean up and reconstruction will take a quite some time. Long time Char-O-Lot ranch customer Ashley Anthony has organized a GoFundMe campaign to help. According to her social media and GoFundMe posting, the power will be out for four to six weeks. The farm also has upwards of $25,000 in insurance deductibles. Per Ms. Anthony, 100% of the GoFundMe proceeds will go toward the deductible as well as to fuel to keep the generators running so that the farm has power, refrigeration, and water. If you feel compelled to help, click here for the GoFundMe page.