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Devastating Fire Hits Training Centre

Published: December 8, 2017 10:15 am ET

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A fire erupted in northeast San Diego County Thursday afternoon and quickly engulfed approximately eight barns at the San Luis Rey Training Center (SLR) in Bonsall, Cali. where nearly 500 racehorses were stabled. An unknown number of horses were evacuated before fire authorities declared conditions unsafe for vehicles to enter the area to pick up the remaining horses. Individuals at SLR risked their lives in efforts to free the horses from their stalls and herd them into the safer infield area and training track. However, it is believed that approximately 25 horses perished in the fire.

When safe for the horse vans to again enter the facility, most of the remaining horses were taken 35 miles south to Del Mar Racetrack where personnel and volunteers are adequately caring for them. As of 7:30 p.m. Thursday (December 7) some 30 horses at SLR were still in the process of being evacuated and an unknown number of horses housed in pastures surrounding the property were unaccounted for as darkness prevented a thorough search of those areas.

California Horse Racing Board personnel will be on the scene early Friday to work with the professionals and volunteers at SLR.

Los Alamitos Race Course announced that it is canceling its Friday afternoon racing program out of respect for the horses and people involved.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to those affected by the fire at San Luis Rey Training Center.

(with files from CHRB)

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