Old Horse Sanctuary Needs Barn Fire Recovery Help

America's oldest equine sanctuary is asking for the public's help following a barn fire that destroyed their winter supply of hay.

No horses were harmed in the fire at Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines in southeastern Pennsylvania, but the bank barn will require massive repairs and 4,000 bales of homegrown hay were lost, according to administrative manager Susan Gutshall.

"We try to be self sufficient, and that was our winter supply of hay," Gutshall said.

Barn fire at Ryerss

The barn sustained severe damage, but no horses were injured.

The fire, which investigators suspect it was electrical, started around lunch time last Saturday.

Ryerss is asking the public for donations of hay and money to help replace the barn and feed. Currently, Ryerss doesn't have anywhere to store donated hay, so the organization is asking donors to store the hay until the barn is repaired. Alternately, money donations are being accepted on the Web site.  

Gutshall says along with hay, any barn supplies like feed and water buckets would also be appreciated, as some of these items were lost in the fire.

"We are pleased at the outpouring of support. It's heartwarming to see how people are stepping up," she said, noting that a local high school student has offered to put on a car wash to help raise funds for the farm.

There is a sense of urgency to repair the barn, as the horses are currently being kept at pasture, but need shelter for the winter.

"We have to hurry up and build before the winter months," she said.

To donate, visit ryerss.com.  

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Liz Brown

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