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Violent storms on Tuesday led to the death of 19 horses in Holland. The herd of 100 horses, including several foals, was stranded for three days on a tiny piece of land surrounded by flood water. Rescuers on horseback lead the remaining horses through the water to safety earlier today.

The storm lifted the North Sea waters as much as 13 feet above its normal level and pushed it into the wilderness area outside the dikes of Marrum, a town 90 miles from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. High water levels and hours in the water led to the death of the 19 horses from either over exposure or drowning.

Firefighters and animal welfare officers plotted a rescue route and earlier today four women on horseback guided the animals back. One horse decided not to follow but was led back later on. Some horses, including the smallest foals had been ferried to safety by small boats on Wednesday.

A complaint against the horses’ owner has been filed by the Netherlands’ Party for the Animals and the Agriculture Ministry have ordered an investigation.