In the early morning hours of Friday, December 21, 2018, a barn fire at First Line Training Centre in Milton, Ontario, claimed the lives of five horses.
Thirty-seven Standardbreds and one pony were in the barn when the fire started at around 1:40 a.m. Two died in the fire, and three were euthanized due to their injuries after assessment by a veterinarian. The uninjured horses were taken to the nearby Mohawk Racetrack for housing.
The facility owner Joe Stutzman said he was devastated, but praised the fire department for saving most of the horses.
According to Milton Fire Chief Dave Pratt, the blaze originated on one side of the barn where, on the outside of the building, a tractor with a block heater was plugged into the wall. Pratt says that appears to be the source of the fire.
The horses lost in the fire were Pearl Blue Chip, a three-year-old pacing filly by Somebeachsomewhere who earned nearly $100,000 from 20 starts; Mademoiselle Tammy, a two-year-old pacing filly by Sunshine Beach; Rap Royalty, a two-year-old gelded trotter by Kadabra; Miss Wheely, a homebred yearling filly by Wheeling N Dealin; and Irma, a homebred yearling filly by Explosive Matter.
- With files from Globalnews.ca, Standardbred Canada, CBC.ca
Main photo: Milton Fire Department