10 Therapy Horses Dead in Ohio Barn Fire

A riding program for disabled equestrians has been temporarily suspended after a barn fire claimed the lives of 10 therapy horses in Oregon, Ohio.

Oregon Fire Chief Ed Ellis said that, in the early morning hours of March 21, firefighters responded to a blaze at the Vail Meadows Equestrian Center. The center provides horse boarding services as well as riding lessons for both disabled and able-bodied equestrians. Upon arrival, fire personnel discovered a 100-year-old barn completely involved in fire.

Chelsea Adelar, the center's volunteer coordinator and riding instructor said that all 10 of the horses housed inside the barn at the time of the fire perished. All the dead horses were used in the center's therapeutic riding program, Adelar said.

One therapy horse and several others that had been turned out for the night survived the fire, she said, adding that a boarding barn containing about 20 horses at the time of the incident was untouched by the blaze.

The Ohio State Fire Marshall's Office investigated the incident and ruled the cause of the fire undetermined, Ellis said.

Adelar said that the Center's therapeutic riding program would resume shortly.

"It was a sad thing to have happened," Adelar said, "We need time to regroup."

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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