Seven horses were killed by a lighting strike in Maarheze on Wednesday afternoon. According to vet Carolien van der Ploeg, the lightning likely struck an electric fence near which the horses were at the time, BN De Stem reports.

The owner of Paardenrusthuis Ogier, a kind of retirement home where old horses spend their last years, happened to be in the pasture when it happened. The weather suddenly turned bad at around 2:00 p.m., he said to the newspaper. The horses, some 26 in total, gathered together and walked into the meadow. "Horses usually stand with their behinds against the wind so that their heads don't get wet," the owner explained.

After a while, the horses came back. Not together, but scattered. "I thought that was strange. As they came closer, I saw in the distance piles on the ground. Bad news, I thought immediately." He drove closer on his tractor and saw the seven dead horses, side by side on the ground.

"They definitely died from lightning strike. The burns and discolorations under the tail confirm this," vet Van der Ploeg said to the newspaper. This happens from time to time, but mostly only to individual animals. That says something about the size of the lightning strike, Van der Ploeg said. "The storm was so violent. I think they died in one fell swoop, that the horses suffered no pain. A little bit of luck in an accident, if you ask me."