Florida Fire Claims 12 Horses
Published: March 16, 2016 9:10 am ET
Last Comment: March 16, 2016 8:15 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
A barn fire has claimed the lives of approximately 12 horses at the South Florida Trotting Center in Lake Worth, Fl. early Wednesday morning.
It has been reported that 23 horses were housed in the single barn that was engulfed in flames and that 11 has been rescued. Two have been taken to a local equine hospital in critical condition.
“This is just devastating,” said farm owner Sam Stathis. It was his barn that caught fire. Horses were also stabled in the barn for trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton.
“I am sick with grief over the horses that have lost their lives,” Stathis said. “The Palm Beach Fire Department did all they could and saved many of the horses.”
Two firefighters were taken to an area hospital to be treated for injuries.
The fire was first reported around midnight and the Fire Department will be conducting a full investigation into the cause of the fire.
Located on 441/SR 7, the South Florida Trotting Center is a Standardbred harness racing facility and home to nearly 500 horses. The single barn was the only one affected by the fire.
Stathis, owner of the South Florida Trotting Center, also owns Stathis Enterprises and is the founder of the World Chariot Racing Federation.
There will be a press conference today (March 16) at 1:00 p.m. at the training centre (7563 South State Road 7/441) with farm owner Sam Stathis, farm manager Ann-Mari Daley and trainers Tom Haughton and Roman Lopez. The conference will take place near the scene of the fire.
A GoFund Me account has been established by Post Time with Mike & Mike to help the horsemen and the training center. The group will split all funds raised through the site between trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton to help offset the cost of damages because of the fire.
"The early outpouring of concern from so many people this morning is tremendous," Stathis said. "I am financially fine, but hope that everyone could support this fundraising for Roman and Tommy. They have lost everything."
(with files from Stathis Enterprises)