Support Continues For Fire Victims

Published: January 9, 2016 12:21 pm EST

The outpouring of contributions in reaction to Monday's tragic barn fire at Classy Lane Training Centre continues as organizations both north and south of the Canadian border have recently announced initiatives to help support those individuals affected.

CHRHF to donate calendar proceeds to Classy Lane Fire Fund

The CHRHF “So God Made a Racehorse” Calendar, was originally created as a fundraiser for the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, but in light of the devastating fire at Classy Lane Stables on January 4, 2016, all proceeds from calendars sold beginning January 6th will be donated to the Classy Lane Stables Fire Fund. Calendar price is $15.00 each, including tax and shipping and is available via the Hall’s online gift shop or by contacting [email protected]

Written by Darryl Kaplan, Editor of TROT Magazine, and inspired by Paul Harvey's 'So God Made a Farmer', 'So God Made A Racehorse' captures all the best qualities of our equine racing heroes.

Each month of the calendar features a stanza of this powerful tribute, accompanied by an image of a Standardbred or Thoroughbred CHRHF member, captured by award winning photographer Dave Landry.

Featured horses include: Somebeachsomewhere, Jambalaya, Dance Smartly, Kadabra, Rocknroll Hanover, Bettors Delight, Soaring Free, Peteski, Izvestia, Mystic Mistress, Dreamfair Eternal, Wando.

Great Canadian Racing Operations Donate $5,000 in Support of the Ontario Racing Community Impacted by Recent Barn Fire

On January 5th, when Bruce Barbour, Executive Director of Racing Operations at Flamboro Downs and Georgian Downs, heard about the tragic fire incident at the Classy Lane Stables killing 39 standardbred racehorses, he quickly rallied the support of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation's racing operations across the country resulting in a $5,000 donation to the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA). COSA is currently collecting donations for those impacted by the fire.

"This tragedy has had a profound effect on many members of our racing community in Ontario and it was important for us to step in and lend a hand to a group of people who are the backbone of our industry," said Barbour. He added, "A barn fire of this magnitude is just an awful situation for those impacted by this tragedy."

Great Canadian properties Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, B.C. and Fraser Downs Racetrack at Elements Casino in Surrey, B.C.along with Ontario-based Georgian Downs and Flamboro Downs made equal contributions to the final donation.

"As the community heals and comes together, Great Canadian racing operations in Ontario and BC will look to support any future fundraising initiatives through financial, in-kind or volunteer efforts," added Barbour.

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is a Canadian based company that operates gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Washington State. The Company has 17 gaming properties, which consists of casinos, including two with a four Diamond resort hotel, horse racetrack casinos and community gaming centres. A key element of Great Canadian's business model is its commitment to social responsibility. PROUD of our people, our business, our community is Great Canadian's brand that unifies the company's community, volunteering and social responsibility efforts. Under the PROUD program, Great Canadian annually invests over $2 million in our communities, and in 2014, over 1,200 charitable organizations were supported by Great Canadian. In each Canadian gaming jurisdiction, a significant portion of the gross gaming revenue from gaming facilities goes back directly to provincial governments for the purpose of supporting programs like healthcare, education and social services.

MSOA, Meadows to host events in support of Classy Lane fire victims

The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association and The Meadows will hold a track walk and moment of silence, as well as support the fund set up by the Central Ontario Standarbred Association to help the victims of the Classy Lane Training Center fire.

Horsemen will gather in the paddock prior to the races on Monday, January 11 and walk in procession to the winners circle for the moment of silence in honor of the horses that lost their lives and in support of the horsemen affected by the fire this past week.

A total of 43 horses from six different stables perished. All six trainers also lost all of their racing equipment.

The MSOA and the track will be working together to make a donation to the fund set up by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association to assist those left in need by the tragedy. Additional details on the donation will be released soon.

“This is every horse owner and trainer’s worst nightmare,” said Rich Gillock, MSOA President. “We hope that our horsemen will be generous in this time of need for our friends in Canada and visit the GoFundMe page. We would also like to thank The Meadows for working with us to assist these horsemen in need.”

PHHA pledges $10,000 to benefit Classy Lane fire victims

To help provide immediate assistance for those affected by the tragic Classy Lane Training Center fire in Puslinch, Ontario, the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association will contribute $10,000 to the fund created by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association.

The contribution, which is being made on behalf of the entire PHHA membership, comes as this hardship hits particularly close to home for so many.

“Our hearts go out to all of our fellow horsemen who are suffering,” said PHHA President Sam Beegle. “As a past fire victim, I understand just how devastating it is to endure something like this.

"We hope this donation will help provide some small measure of relief when combined with the outpouring of support throughout our industry.”

USHWA donates $1000 towards Ontario fire victims

The United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA), North America's trade group of harness racing communicators, will be making a $1,000 contribution towards the fund created to assist the people affected by the tragic fire this past Monday at Classy Lane Training Center in Ontario, which claimed the lives of dozens of Standardbreds and severely impacted the lives of many owners, trainers and caretakers stabled at the farm.

"The words 'barn fire' may be among the two scariest words in all of harness racing," stated Chris Tully, USHWA President, "and the devastating effects such an event has on a harness community cannot be overstated. Many of the people suffering losses in this fire were and are supporters of USHWA when they have a champion horse, and we feel that it is imperative to support these people in this extremely difficult time."

“We are hopeful that our contribution, added to the large amount of financial support received from across the harness world, will help those affected to rebuild their stables and start them back on the road to competition and success."

The Central Ontario Standardbred Association, whose president is Hall of Fame horseman Bill O'Donnell, has created a GoFundMe page for donations. Fans who want to contribute to the Fund can click on the above link, or mail a check made out to “Classy Lane Barn Fire” and send it to the Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Box 297, Campbellville ONTARIO L0P 1B0.