The OVS Equestrian staff began evacuating horses from the Upper Campus just as the Thomas Fire started in the nearby community of Santa Paula. All were safely evacuated. Some are now being sheltered at the Lower Campus, and 38 others have been relocated to three ranches in Santa Ynez.
“They are all out in the open with plenty of room to move and fresh air to breath,” said Equestrian Director Stephanie Gustafson, who is staying in Santa Ynez with the horses, two other OVS equestrian instructors, and her daughter, Emma, a current senior at the Upper Campus. “I feel so blessed to have been provided this sanctuary by people who love OVS as we do. As Emma said when we looked at the damage to Upper, ‘it’s okay mom, OVS is more than just buildings.”