I spoke with Boyd a few minutes ago and the first thing he said to me was “I’m shattered Johnny, absolutely devastated.” There are some posts I pray to God I will never have to write and this is one of them.
The top barn at Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm, which was being used by Boyd Martin and housed 11 horses in Boyd’s program, burned to the ground early this morning. Boyd told me that 6 horses passed away. 4 horses are at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania receiving care for injuries sustained in the fire. Neville Bardos is in intensive care for smoke inhalation, Catch a Star who recently placed second in the Jersey 2* with Caitlin SIlliman is in intensive care with burns, and Otis Barbotiere and a young horse are receiving fluids.
Boyd told me that the fire is believed to have started around 12:30am and that authorities currently believe it was an electrical fire. Boyd’s groom Lilian woke up, smelled the smoke, and then sounded the alarm. Lilian and the other members of Boyd’s and Phillip’s programs worked heroically over the next few minutes to save as many of the horses as possible. Boyd was staying at his new farm a few miles away and he told me that by the time he got there the fire department had arrived and firemen were restraining people from running into the blaze.
Update: PRO has just sent out a release naming the lost horses as Call Me Ollie, Charla, Ariel, Phantom Pursuit, Cagney Herself, and Summer Breeze. The release also says that Lillian Heard, Caitlin Silliman and Ryan Wood were treated and released from Jennersville Hospital. [Press Release]
The families of the horses who passed have been notified. EN writer Abbie Golden’s horse was one of those that passed away in the fire.
There is ultimately nothing that anyone can say or write to assuage the grief from such a terrible event. But words and written letters point to a deeper reality and that reality is that all of the Eventing Nation family stands behind Abbie, Boyd, Silva, and all of those affected by this terrible twist of fate. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.