A dozen Standardbreds are dead and 11 more are recovering after fire destroyed their barn at a training facility near Lake Worth, Florida.
Ann Mari Daley, manager of the South Florida Trotting Center, said her daughter Jamie and another individual, Dale Gilmour, were driving when they spotted smoke coming from a barn at the center on March 15. After notifying the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, the pair began releasing horses from the burning barn with the help of grooms and others on the farm, Daley said. The group was able to save 11 of 23 horses before the barn collapsed; the remaining 12 horses were killed.
The surviving horses are being treated for smoke inhalation and burns at Reid and Associates Equine Clinic in Loxahatchee, Daley said.
“Right now we have two horses in critical condition and four that are not in critical condition, but are not stable,” she said. “The rest are in stable condition.”
Daley said most of the horses at the center were 2- and 3-year old Standardbred trotters in training to compete at harness racing tracks across North America; the horses were scheduled to leave the facility in April, she added.
The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined, Daley said.