Georgia Barn Fire Claims 18 Horses

Eighteen horses were killed in a barn fire at Brookwood Equestrian Center in Oconee County, Ga., an Oconee County fire official said.

Oconee County Deputy Fire Chief Ken Parsons said his department answered a 911 call about a fire in a barn at the Brookwood Equestrian Center in the early hours of Jan. 31. The barn was completely involved in flames when fire personnel arrived, Parsons said. Eighteen horses were killed in the fire; one of those horses escaped the flames, but was seriously injured and later euthanized by a veterinarian, he said. Horses housed in other barns located on the property were not affected by the fire, Parsons said.

According to several published reports, four horses owned by Grand Prix dressage rider Kristen Becker were killed in the blaze. Among those were Ramses, the Dutch Warmblood gelding Becker rode in the Young Adult Brentina Cup; her Bavarian-bred Grand Prix horse Frankentraum; a young filly named Direct Flight; and Moo-Llenium, a Paint whom Becker had owned for many years.

Becker was unavailable for comment on the fire.

Meanwhile, Parsons said the owners at the fire scene were hard hit by the loss of their horses: “Folks are devastated, wondering what to do and where to go from here. It was very sad.”

Parsons said the Georgia State Fire Marshall's Office ruled the fire of undetermined origin.

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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