Fire Kills Six Horses, Injures Four at WEG Eventer's Barn

An early morning fire at American three-day eventer Boyd Martin's barn killed six horses and sent four more to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center, in Kennett Square, for treatment. Additionally, three people that work at the farm where 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) team member's barn was located were released from a hospital after treatment for minor injuries they sustained while evacuating horses.

The fire started around 12:30 a.m. today at the barn leased from American Olympic and WEG team member Phillip Dutton's True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pa. Eleven horses were inside the barn when the fire began. There is no official word yet on what ignited the fire; however, according to Martin's public relations representative, Amber Heintzberger, Dutton said he believes it was an electrical fire.

Barn Fire

The remnants of eventer Boyd Martin's barn were still smoking this morning after a fire ripped through the building, killing six horses.

Martin's groom, Lilian Heard, and riders Ryan Wood and Caitlin Silliman lived in an apartment above the barn and were able to remove five horses from the structure. The three equestrians were then taken to Jennersville Hospital in West Grove, where they were treated for minor injuries sustained during the fire and released.

The following horses couldn't be evacuated and perished in the fire:

  • Call Me Ollie, a 2000 Thoroughbred gelding owned by Faye Woolfe and ridden by Martin and American Olympian Becky Holder, who competed internationally at the intermediate level;
  • Charla, a 2003 Holsteiner mare owned by Henley House Farms and ridden by Martin, who competed internationally at the intermediate level;
  • Ariel, a 2005 Canadian Warmblood mare owned and ridden by Heard, who competed through preliminary level;
  • Phantom Pursuit, a 1994 Australian Thoroughbred gelding owned by Kimberly Golden and ridden by Abbie Golden (formerly ridden by Martin), who competed through advanced level;
  • Cagney Herself, a 2002 Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Bonnie Stedt and ridden by Martin, who competed through training level; and
  • Summer Breeze W, a 2005 Thoroughbred/Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Anne Hennessey and ridden by Martin, who competed through training level.

Four horses, including Martin's 2010 World Equestrian Games partner, Neville Bardos, are currently receiving treatment at the New Bolton Center for injuries sustained during the fire.

Martin was featured in the June 2011 issue of The Horse, when he discussed dietary differences between his two four-star mounts, Neville Bardos and Remington XXV (who was not involved in the barn fire). will provide updates as more information becomes available.

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About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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