Groom, Security Guards Help Prevent Disaster in Servis’ Barn

A fire started by a faulty motor in a fan broke out in the barn of trainer John Servis at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack the afternoon of June 20, causing minor injuries to his stable pony, Jinks.

No other horses were injured,

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A fire started by a faulty motor in a fan broke out in the barn of trainer John Servis at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack the afternoon of June 20, causing minor injuries to his stable pony, Jinks.


No other horses were injured, and the fire was quickly contained by several security guards who used fire extinguishers, as well as the barn’s sprinkler system. The local fire company in Bensalem Township was also dispatched to the scene.


Servis, who won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) in 2004 with the popular Smarty Jones, said the straw in Jinks’ stall caught on fire about 3 p.m., singeing the pony’s tail and mane and causing a blister on his back left leg. The fire was discovered by one of Servis’ grooms, and she alerted a nearby security guard who immediately grabbed a fire extinguisher and radioed for help.


“I wasn’t at the track at the time, and Bill (Foster, Servis’ foreman) called me on my cell phone,” Servis said. “He said the barn was on fire, and he could smell the smoke from the recreation hall, where he was at. Believe me, my heart was in my throat as I flew back there

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Written by:

Linda Dougherty is a correspondent for The Blood-Horse magazine.

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