Bartow County horse trainers lose nearly everything in Oklahoma - CBS46 News

Bartow County horse trainers lose nearly everything to Oklahoma tornado

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BARTOW COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Things just aren't right at Jon Ellis' stables.

"Now there is no one in here to take care of," Ellis said.

Ellis and his wife Jennifer Short raised and trained eight race horses at their Bartow County horse farm. But seven of them were with Ellis in Oklahoma last month when a tornado ripped through the area.

"I was just praying as I ran, praying that it would miss our barn and it just went right down the middle of our barn," Ellis said.

Ellis was on his way back to the barn when the tornado hit. He said he'll never forget what he saw when he got back.

"Just dead horses laying everywhere. The most awful deaths you can imagine, I mean it wasn't like walking in a pasture and finding one died of old age, they died horrific deaths," said Ellis.

More than 100 horses died that day. Ellis and Short said it was like losing a family member.

"I just wailed and wailed over them. They were like my kids, and one was a 2-year-old baby, and I had bottle fed her from birth every two hours. And I never missed a beat for three months, every two hours," Ellis said.

Ellis said insurance will cover the lost trailers, saddles and other gear, but with no insurance on the horses, the couple faces the daunting task of starting over just weeks before their first child is born.

"It's a tough time especially with the baby coming, so we are very hopeful somehow it all comes together," said Short.

Ellis and Short said they draw strength from Derbydaydelight. She is the one horse that didn't make the trip to Oklahoma.

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