A Carteret County woman believes the drought and its impact on some hay may have led to the death of her 23-year-old horse.
Betty Beard of Newport believes dry conditions increased nitrates in her hay while it was growing. She fed her horse "Coachies"; a fresh bail Saturday, and the horse died two days later.
Livestock agents say small levels of nitrates can be found in most hay and generally, aren't harmful. But they say nitrates can accumulate due to lack of rain or drought conditions.
Beard will now get her hay tested to see if it is responsible for the death of her horse.