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Horses Return To Florida Trotting Center

Published: March 19, 2016 5:58 pm ET

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Four of the horses rescued from the devastating barn fire at the South Florida Trotting Center have returned home.

Celebrity Lover, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Artemis and Celebrity Lambo were all released from Reid & Associates Equine Hospital late Friday afternoon. All four of the horses suffered burns on their backs and some on their necks and rumps from the March 16 barn fire, which claimed the lives of 12 horses.

Seven of the injured horses remain at the hospital in Loxahatchee and it is not clear when they will be released.

As the returning horses were removed from their trailer, all had visible burn injuries.

Each will need to be monitored over the next several weeks for upper respiratory and lung issues, and the horses may require hyperbaric oxygen treatments, said Sam Stathis, owner of the four horses and the owner of the South Florida Trotting Center.

“They’re not in extreme danger, but [there’s] caution that they’re not out of the woods with the respiratory issues,” he said. “They need 24-hour-a-day care. We thought it better that they live on the farm and we hand walk them so they don’t get psychological issues. They’ve been through enough.”

Stathis said veterinarians will come to the center each day to tend to the recovering animals.

Stathis lost one of his own horses, but had four survive. He said he's taking responsibility for all horses in the barn that burned.

“I’m ecstatic that the first four horses have returned to the farm,” Stathis said. “And we are doing everything possible to insure that the remaining seven will come home too. I can’t wait for that day to come.”

(With files from Stathis Enterprises)

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