US

Florida stable prepares to lose 18 horses that ate contaminated feed; 4 have died already

  • Ava Exelbirt brushes one of the remaining horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 16 2014. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at the equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. Four horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center have died since October because of contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

    Ava Exelbirt brushes one of the remaining horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 16 2014. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at the equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. Four horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center have died since October because of contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)  (The Associated Press)

  • Ava Exelbirt hugs one of the remaining horses at the Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Ava lost the horse she rode to poisoned feed on Monday. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at a Florida equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. Four horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center have died since October because of contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

    Ava Exelbirt hugs one of the remaining horses at the Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Ava lost the horse she rode to poisoned feed on Monday. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at a Florida equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. Four horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center have died since October because of contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)  (The Associated Press)

  • Izabella Gosttschall, right, and her sister, Sophia, talk to one of the remaining horses at the Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Izabella recently lost her horse to a batch of feed tainted by additives safe for other livestock but toxic to horses. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at the equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. Four horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center have died since October because of contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

    Izabella Gosttschall, right, and her sister, Sophia, talk to one of the remaining horses at the Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Izabella recently lost her horse to a batch of feed tainted by additives safe for other livestock but toxic to horses. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at the equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. Four horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center have died since October because of contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)  (The Associated Press)

Eighteen poisoned horses are being treated to spa days in their Florida stables, with their young riders brushing their manes and tails, painting their hooves and feeding them hay.

There's nothing else anyone can do for the doomed horses at Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie.

A batch of feed tainted by additives safe for other livestock but toxic to horses arrived at the center in September. All 22 horses there ate the feed for a month before anyone realized something was wrong.

Three horses died in October, and a fourth was euthanized Monday. The rest will die, some possibly as soon as this week.

The Lakeland-based company that sold the feed has recalled the product and acknowledged that the feed delivered to Masterpiece contained additives toxic to horses.

Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is investigating.