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Post-Fire Support For Horsemen

Published: May 22, 2014 9:14 am ET

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"You just want to throw in the towel. 21 years Matt's been in the barn, I had my horse for 10. So it's family members that have passed, and that was our home. We spent more time there than we did at our house."

The horrific barn fire that took place Sunday, May 11 near Kingston, Ont. has decimated the stables of horseman Gord Hart, Matt Harvey and his partner Lorraine Barr. As reported last week, Barr and Harvey lost Standardbred Danish Sarah as well as Barr's riding horse, Pat, while Hart lost two horses as well -- four-year-old Armbro Deuce gelding Deuce Is Loose and a three-year-old filly.

Barr told Trot Insider that she and Matt are extremely thankful for the brave horsemen that rushed to their aid and wanted to ensure that the efforts those brave individuals that helped them were acknowledged.

"Danny Murphy, Gary Smith, Billy Harvey...we wouldn't have six horses right now if it wasn't for them. They risked their lives. The barn went so fast, the smoke was so do you say 'thank you' to somebody that's done that? The whole racing community here has called us...Standardbred Canada and OHHA have reached out to us, and being in this position it just means the world. It really makes us get up every morning and want to still be a part of it."

Barr and Harvey have been able to relocate to the barn of Ken McFarland in Westbrook, just West of Kingston. Six of the eight horses that were saved in the blaze were Standardbreds that belonged to the Harvey Stable: Blazing Mystery, Danish Debut, Majestic Diego, Majestic Maggie, Modern Mystery and Wichita Jazz. Also saved was Misty Victoria, a two-year-old horse owned by Steven Lindsay of Gananoque and Paris Place, owned by Gord Hart of Odessa.

"We're very fortunate to have such wonderful horses. Had they not been so trusting, we probably wouldn't have got them out of the barn," said Barr. "Even the Fire people were very surprised we did. They're smart animals."

According to Barr, the cause of the blaze is still under investigation and they have no idea how it started. The part of the barn in which the fire started wasn't used for stabling horses.

Murphy told Trot Insider that any equipment people would like to donate can be left with him at his barn at the old Kingston Park Raceway. A bank account has been established at The Bank Of Montreal for people wishing to make cash donations. The account information can be obtained from Tony Waller at 613-546-1901. Waller can also be contacted for those wishing to donate equipment.

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