The Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers officially reopened their stables on Monday after 11 weeks of quarantine.
“It’s the first time ever in our 83-year history that we had to close our doors,” said head coach Angie Holt.
The stables were closed after three horses, including Halifax Regional Police horse Sarge, contracted equine strangles.
“It’s a bacterial infection that affects horses and it’s highly contagious. The only way to deal with it with minimal impact was to close the barn and suspend all of our programming,” said Holt.
It’s believed the stables lost about $1,000 a day while they were closed.
“The timing of the year was quite unfortunate because we also had to cancel many of our summer camps, which is a big source of revenue for us,”said Holt.
“We also cancelled one of our biggest fundraisers, our Downtown Horse Show, which we’ve done every year for 27 years. This is the first time it’s had to be cancelled.”
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In addition to lost revenue, the Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers are now dealing with unexpected vet bills.
“We’re looking at probably close to $10,000,” Holt said, noting that they didn’t have an official total just yet.
The 27 horses at the stable have now been given a clean bill of health, and the stable is set to resume their programming on Tuesday.
It’s welcome news for riders who have been missing the barn and the horses.
“That was pretty hard because horseback riding is the only sport I do here so it’s a big impact,” said 12-year-old Lucie MacDonald.
“I’m really excited,” said Elsie Holt, 10. “I’m really happy because I have my own horse at a different barn but I’m really excited to ride these horses now.”
A GoFundMe Page is still up in running for those who want to help raise money for expenses at the stables.