Training Center Fire Claims More Than 40 Standardbreds

A fire at a harness racing training center in Ontario, Canada, claimed the lives of more than 40 Standardbred racehorses residing in a barn there.

Guelph, Ontario, Fire Department Deputy Chief John Osborne said firefighters from the all-volunteer Puslinch Fire Department responded to a barn fire at Classy Lane Stables Training Centre in Puslinch on Jan. 4. Upon arrival, firefighters found a single-story metal barn completely engulfed in flames.

“The barn could accommodate 40 to 45 horses,” Osborne said. “We lost all of the horses that we in the barn at the time.”

The training center's owner Jamie Miller said that in all 43 horses in the care of four trainers were lost in the fire.

The Puslinch Fire Department called five other fire departments to help prevent the blaze from reach other nearby barns.

“They were far enough way so that there was no damage to them,” Osborne said.

The Classy Lane Stables Training Centre website indicates that the facility is designed to accommodate more than 200 harness racing horses and attracts some of North America's best known trainers.

Miller said the barn destroyed by the blase was built in 2003 and all the wiring contained in the structure was encased in conduit.

“The fire marshal has been here and there are still some hot spots, but there is not much left,” he said. “We still don't know what caused the fire.”

The blaze remains under investigation.

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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