Georgia Authorities Probe Deadly Saddlebred Barn Fire

Georgia fire authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that claimed the lives of 35 Saddlebred horses, including championship-caliber show horses.

Glenn Allen, spokesman for Georgia State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, said that on June 20 around 8:30 p.m. fire broke out at the Happy Valley Farm, a Saddlebred breeding and training facility in Walker County. Thirty-five Saddlebred horses were killed in the blaze, which consumed two barns and a storage building.

One horse survived after it was led to safety by a trainer, Allen said; he had no further information on that horse's condition.

There was no loss of human life in the blaze, Allen said.

Additional barns located elsewhere on the Happy Valley Farm property were undamaged by the fire, Allen said.

Allen said that the fire resulted in a total of $6 million in damages.

“There was no insurance on the horses,” he said.

The Georgia State Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are investigating the cause of the fire. Allen said that preliminary results indicate that the fire was not suspicious in nature.

“But the investigation is ongoing,” Allen said.

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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