Primary Access "Bounty"
March 03, 1989
July 18, 2007
He lived a great life and lives on in everyone that knew him.
Bounty, Kayde, Kayla and Spanky
Bounty and Ice Charger
Kayde (12 years old) was making this video of Bounty and learning how to edit on July 16th ... I finished it after the accident.
Sky July 18, 2007
Tornado July 18, 2007
Just before tornado hit
Because of Bounty & Ice
July 18, 2007 was a hot summer day in the Flathead Valley. Many of you may even remember that evening. A tornado raced through Lower Valley from the Polson area causing lots of turmoil along its path. My daughters and I were competing at a National Barrel Horse Association competition at Carpenter’s Arena that evening along with about 80 horses and 150 riders & spectators. That tornado changed our lives. I feel compelled to share the tragedy, miracle and sequence of events as they unfolded before us that evening.
Our family moved here in July 2005 from Encinitas, California with our beloved family horse, “Bounty”. We bought two more geldings shortly after our move. My name is Lynne Undraitis. I ride “IC Charger” (Ice), a 7 year old 16.2 hand grey appendix quarter horse. I was filming the barrel races that evening for my production company, “Saddle Up Productions”. My husband, Leonard and I have two daughters. Kayla, 15 rides “Spanky”, a 7 year old 15.2 hand quarter horse paint. Kayde, 11 rode our “Primary Access” (Bounty), an 18 year old 15.2 buckskin quarter horse. Bounty has been part of our family even before the girls were born. We've had him since he was a yearling. He was our best friend and companion. I truly believe our horses saved our girls and I and very possibly others that evening. I want to share our love and gratitude for Bounty and Ice by sharing this story.
Kayla and I were in the grandstand watching and videotaping the riders.
The weather was beginning to change but at the same time there was also an eerie calmness. The clouds in the sky looked ominous as the winds began to accelerate. Everyone around us quickly realized something unusual was happening as the winds grew even stronger. Lightening seemed to be striking all around us and the thunder got louder. The wind was beginning to swirl and grow stronger when the rain blew in. I caught an old door as it was ripped off a shed just before it would have hit Kayla. Kayla caught a trash can as it blew by. It seemed we all had the instant realization we might be in dangerous situation. I ran out from my filming area in the grandstand yelling to my daughters to leave the horses alone and to take cover behind our horse trailer. Everyone quickly left the grandstand area to get their families and horses out of harm’s way. By this time the rain was pelting us all. It was hard to see as we ran for safety. Kayla & Kayde wanted to get the horses in the trailer. I remember firmly stating to the girls to leave the horses alone. I felt the girls and I would be safer behind our horse trailer. All three of the horses were tied to the trailer.
We reached the trailer and were discussing what we were going to do to protect the horses; we heard a terrible ripping and crunching sound. Looking towards the grandstand, as we watched the 60’ X 25’ roof lifted completely from the grandstand and flew directly towards us! We could only crouch and hide behind the trailer. The sky darkened as the roof came over us. The noise around us was incredible and frightening. We looked over to Bounty, he was down. He was the closest to us, only a few feet away, Ice and Spanky were tied to the other side of the trailer. The storm raged on, we tried to get Bounty to stand, but he would never stand again. He died within 10 minutes.
Grandstand with roof off
Ice and Spanky had broken loose from the trailer. As the storm abated it seemed everyone came to help us. Kayla went to find Ice and Spanky. While Kayde and I stayed with Bounty, our good friend Dede and others calmed Kayde.
Kayla found Ice and Spanky huddled with about 10 other horses. Ice came right up to her; she was able to lead him with a broken halter while Spanky followed. Both horses were bleeding from the nostrils. Ice was bleeding profusely. Many people were helping us; we were able to take their saddles off. We all knew Ice needed immediate attention.
We loaded Spanky and Ice in the trailer and immediately headed for La Salle Veterinary clinic hoping someone would be there. All of the phone lines were down.
I was able to contact my husband Len; he was on his way to help as the storm raged on, lightning and thunder seemed to follow us. We had to leave Bounty.
Roof in background July 19 2007
We arrived at the clinic; the buildings were dark and unoccupied. We unloaded the horses. Spanky was anxious and scared. Ice was barely able to walk and sweating. I knew he was going into shock. Kayde comforted him while we covered him with blankets and jackets. Len calmed Spanky while Kayla and I tried to reach any vet in the area. Dede was on her way after her horses were safe at home. Kayla’s effort paid off, she was able to contact a small animal vet that personally knew Dr John Erfle from La Salle. Dr. Erfle was on his way. What a relief when he arrived!
Dr Erfle arrived around 10:30pm. Ice was in obvious distress. His breathing was rapid with short shallow breaths. His gums were pale and his eyes had a glazed look so unfamiliar to someone who knew him. Dr Erfle could only hear lung sounds in his left lower chest, nowhere else. The clinic’s portable generator provided light but not enough power to take a chest x-ray. Instead, an ultrasound scan revealed blood in his chest and that both of his lungs had collapsed. For the first few hours Ice received intravenous fluids and medication for pain, shock and to control bleeding. It was now all up to Ice.
Dr Erfle and Dede did all they could and went home to rest. Len and Kayde went home for another generator and sleeping bags. Kayla and I stayed with Ice monitoring his vital signs. At one point we became very concerned when his heart rate doubled, and he began to shake uncontrollably. We put more blankets on him and tried our best to calm him. Ice never gave up. Power was restored at 4:30 am and Ice was stable.
Dr Erfle arrived at 6:30 am. "Chest x-rays gave good news; Ice did not have fractured ribs and his diaphragm was intact. The decision was made to inflate his chest. After clipping and prepping his chest, tubes were inserted and air trapped in his chest was aspirated. The procedure was monitored with ultrasound as his lungs were inflated and brought back up to the top of his chest. Dr Erfle was hesitant to place an indwelling chest tube due to the risk of infection and air leakage around the tube. Ice was relegated to the intensive care unit. Out of concern for his well being, his best buddy, Spanky, was allowed to stay with him in the ward. Over the next three days Ice’s lungs were inflated five times. He was discharged from the hospital six days after the accident" (The La Salle Veterinary Clinic's Newsletter, November 2007).
A bout of colic brought Ice back to La Salle one week later. We were afraid he had a diaphragmatic hernia, and would require surgery at a clinic in Washington. Amazingly, Ice being Ice, bounced right back and we were able to bring him home the next day!
Examining Ice’s saddle revealed gouges in the seat and fender. The saddle had dispersed the force of the impact enough to protect the spine and ribs from fracture. That force, however, acted like an explosion inside his chest, bursting the lung tissue and causing the lungs to collapse".
Later, piecing together what we saw and others observed through the flying debris, we came to this conclusion. When the roof hit Ice, it drove him to his knees, he arose instantly. Apparently, when he bounced back up, the momentum of the flying roof caused it to clear us and the horse trailer. It seemed an edge caught Bounty. The horses may have changed the path of the roof, saving us. We are grateful no one else was injured, it could have been disastrous.
Saddle that saved Ice
Yesterday sitting with Ice while he was taking his afternoon nap, he leaned back and put his head in my lap and fell asleep. I suppose Ice is in our lives for a very special purpose.
Photo taken later with some of the riders that were involved.
"Ice has been undergoing body work and hydrotherapy to help his back and stomach muscles recover from the trauma. His lungs seem completely recovered.
He is not yet ready to race around the barrels,
but with time, exercise, and a lot of love, his future looks entirely productive"
(The La Salle Veterinary Clinic's Newsletter, November 2007)
Foys Lake August 2007
Walking to Foys Lake
Yesterday sitting with Ice while he was taking his afternoon nap, he leaned back and put his head in my lap and fell asleep.
I suppose Ice is in our lives for a very special purpose.
Ice in recovery August 2007
Kayde and Tahoe
Ice and Friends October 2007
Donations and our savings allowed us to pay our veterinary bills and acquire another horse for Kayde. We feel it is important to show our daughters life goes on.
Swift Poco Gold “Tahoe” is a 16.1 Quarter horse buckskin gelding who reminds us of Bounty. We realize he is special in his own way as we get to know him.
Bounty was my life long dream horse. He was with us through very tough times; bringing joy and companionship to our family. Our hearts ache for him and always will.
We would like to thank all of our friends for their support and concern. Special thanks to Dr John Erfle and his staff, they saved Ice’s life. God bless you.
Thank you all,
The Undraitis Family
Ice Charger October 2007
Foys Lake August 2007