6 horses lost in True Prospect Farm fire

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.



  • Dana says:

    Love and Prayers to Boyd and his team. This is so scary..one of the biggest fears of anyone with barns. Hope all the horses at New Bolton recover quickly.

  • palmer says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved, how tragic!!!

  • Cherie says:

    I am sitting at my desk at work, crying. This is every horse owners nightmare. To Boyd and Silva – and everyone at True Prospect – all of Eventing Nation is with you and your ponies right now.

  • CD says:

    Ugh, I’m just sick to my stomach hearing about this. What a horrible accident. I pray that everyone, people and horses, at True Prospect Farm recover quickly. I know all the equestrians out there give everyone effected all their love and support.

  • Katy says:


  • Laura says:

    OMFG. EN love and comfort from Georgia. Condolences to Boyd and his team.

  • Bo's Mom says:

    Absolutely devastated for Boyd, Lindsey, Lillian, Sara and Caitlin. Bo sends his love.

  • A nightmare says:

    This is every horse owner’s nightmare. My condolences to Boyd and his team.

  • Jennifer says:

    There are no words. My thoughts and prayers go out to Boyd, the horses and everyone connected with them.

  • Amy says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Boyd and all of his team. I am so sorry for your losses.

  • pamela says:

    There just are no words…I’m so sorry!!!!

  • Cheryl Figures says:

    I am sitting here just totally stuned stunded and sick to my stomach. This is truly every horse owners worst nightmare. My heart is breaking for Boyd and his wife. The team at Anew Twist send our love and support, if there is anythign we can do please don’t hesitate.

  • anon2 says:

    Heard this early this morning. It’s devastating. Boyd and his crew are good friends, good horsemen and good people all the way around. Some specials horses were lost. Fingers crossed for everyone that is recovering from the blaze.

    Biggups to Woodsey, Lillian and Caitlin for doing what they could there!

    This is a tough one.

  • Kirsten says:

    I’m so sorry for everyones loss. I’m sure you all have many prayers being said for you from around the world.

  • Colleen says:

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to those involved in this deeply tragic event.

  • Stacie says:

    No words, just deepest sympathy. Thoughts and prayers with everyone at TPF.

  • JoAnn says:

    Our thoughts our with Boyd, Sylvia and the owners. Such a terrible tragedy.

  • Badger says:

    Tears for sweet Ollie and all the others. Prayers for the ones at NB to win their good fight.

  • Alighieri says:

    I had the pleasure of knowing Finn (Phantom Pursuit) and I am absolutely shocked that he could have died like this. Abbie, my heart goes out to you, as well as to all others connected to the horses lost. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • BP says:

    I’m at a loss for words.

  • Heidi says:

    I am so sorry to the owners of those horses! This is such sad news :-(

  • Jessica M. says:

    My deepest regrets to everyone involved. Thoughts and prayers are being sent their way!

  • Gin says:

    My deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.

  • Lindsay Berreth says:

    Thoughts and prayers to everyone! How devastating.

  • SJY says:

    truly saddened and stunned. i can only imagine how those that were involved might be going through. my thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy!!!

  • Melissa S says:

    My deepest condolences. Those were lovely horses and this is just heartbreaking. Thoughts and paryers to everyone.

  • Sue Portch says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. RIP xx

  • melanie says:

    I lost my TB filly at May Daze this past weekend in a freak accident and i am crushed and this was just one horse. I cant imagine how devasted everyone must be. My prayers to all.

  • Melissa says:

    I am in shock and I can barely imagine how everybody at TPF is feeling. This is definitely every rider’s worst nightmare. Deepest sympathy to everybody related to this tragedy…

  • Sue Church says:

    Sending love and support during this tragic time.

  • Diane says:

    Jingles to Boyd and everyone involved. Terribly sad. Best wishes to the surviving horses for speedy recoveries.

  • Louise says:

    Hugs and condolences to all involved. From a devastated eventing fan in Denmark.

  • Emily says:

    This is the worst thing that can happen to a horse owner. What a horrible way for those horses to go. I’ll keep you and your horses in my prayers.

  • Jenna says:

    Worst nightmare. Prayers with True Prospect farm and everyone involved. I am sick to my stomach.

  • Ashley says:

    So sorry for everyones loss. How horrible it must been for everyone involved. My heart goes out to all of them.

  • BBowen says:

    Thoughts and prayers to all at True Prospect Farm as they sort through this tragic loss. My heart breaks for all those involved. Praying for a speedy recovery for the horses at NB.

  • Polly says:

    There is nothing I can say to ease the devastation. I am so terribly sorry. Love to you all and very best wishes to the ponies at New Bolton.

  • Kristen says:

    Sending thoughts and prayers to everyone involved in this horrific tragedy!

  • beth says:

    I am so devastated for Boyd and everyone at True Prospect. There is nothing to say but my heart goes out to all of you!!!!

  • Amanda says:

    This is heartbreaking. Thoughts & prayers for those affected.

  • Fran says:

    My heart goes out to everyone at this very difficult time. I am so very very sorry for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Tami Weingartner says:

    This is heartbreaking…To all the owners and everyone at True Prospect please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Valarie says:

    I’m so sorry for this devastating news. My thoughts are with everyone touched by this sad news. Boyd and Silva, I know how much you treasure your horses. My heart breaks for you and the owners.

  • Dawn says:

    Prayers for all involved. Heartbreaking!!!

  • sue king says:

    I am so sorry.. heart breaking.

  • Kimberly Lennon says:

    Prayers have been sent up for Boyd and the owners’ incredible loss. May He give you a peace beyond all understanding and comfort during this time.
    - UCF Stables
    Canton GA

  • L says:

    Just holy crap. Sorry just doesn’t cover it. The eventing wOrld is with you all! Please don’t hesitate to ask for anything!!!!!!!!! We are here for you!!!!

  • Mia Edsall says:

    this is horrible!
    I send out my prayers for Boyd, Silva and the horses. You are all loved.

  • Lori Tankel says:

    My deepest sympathies to Boyd and everyone affected by this horrible tragedy. I am so sorry.

  • Amy says:

    Deepest condolences to Boyd and everyone involved. How absolutely devastating. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Missy says:

    This is terrible. Does anyone know what can be done to help?

  • Sofie says:

    So very sorry, thinking of you

  • Jenn says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone related to those horses injuried or lost!

  • MP Hedges says:

    Deepest sympathies. I cannot imagine. Prayers for the injured horses and humans injured trying to help (((hugs)))

  • clb says:

    Our love goes out to you all—we are so terribly sorry and wish that we could help out in some way.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was devastated to hear this. Our condolences from New York. What an unfair tragedy :(

  • Margaret Wolf says:

    My deepest sympathies to all who were affected by this tragedy.

  • Anonymous says:

    So, so, so terribly sorry for those good horses that died, for Boyd, Silva, and for thiose horses’ owners. We send you, Ryan, Lillian, Caitlin, Neville Bardos, Catch a Star, Otis Barbotiere and the other horse at New Bolton our love and healing thoughts.

  • Sammy stalter says:

    I was devastated to hear about this. Our condolences from New York. This is such an unfair tragedy :(

  • RCH says:

    It isn’t just the eventing world who mourn with Boyd, Silva, and the rest of the people at True Prospect, it’s the horse world. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  • Mary Piro says:

    Everyone here at Pirouette Farm joins me in expressing my deepest condolences to Boyd and everyone at True Prospect Farm. We lived through having our entire barn burn to the ground in 2005, and I can only say that all involved will never be the same. My heart goes out to all of you and my prayers for the horses at New Bolton.

  • Suzie says:

    I can’t even imagine what this might feel like. Condolences and thoughts to the entire True Prospect Farm team.

  • Julia says:

    So, so, so terribly sorry for the horses that died in the fire, for their owners, and for Boyd and Silva. We send you, Ryan, Caitlin, Lillian, Neville Bardos, Otis Barbotiere, Catch a Star and the young horse that is also at New Bolton all our love and strong healing thoughts. To those three — Ryan, Catilin and Lillian — who risked your own lives to save the horses you could, your efforts were heroic. Thank you.

  • kylie says:

    Horrible, we had a barn fire in February and 6 died, all loved a lot. So sorry to hear, I no exactly how the owners feel. Rest in peace.

  • Lorraine says:

    so many wonderful horses. how absolutely heartbreaking. God Bless the heroic team that went in to save the horses that made it, you are strong and wonderful people. All of us who have seen Neville or Otis and the other surviving horses thank you. My prayers go out to Team Martin and the horses fighting for their lives.

  • JAS says:

    No words can express the sadness I have for Boyd, the owners and crew regarding this loss of life.

    I can only imagine these great souls with hearts of gold galloping tall grass meadows!

  • Jen says:

    I’m am so truely sorry for your loss. Although I had never met any of them my heart breaks at the thought of what everyone must be going through. My prayers are with you.

  • Kim Bradley says:

    Our prayers to everyone involved, and special prayers for the surviving horses, that they recover.

  • Kaity says:

    Ughh, I feel sick to my stomach reading this. What an absolute nightmare. Thoughts and prayers go out to Boyd and his team.

  • Tilly says:

    All my condolences to all involved. Having experienced a barn fire myself in 2008 – fortunately with no deaths – it is not something that anyone, ever, should have to go through. It is times like these that our close-knit eventing community can show the strength of the glue that binds it and I know Boyd and Silva and the entire team will soon have a massive amount of support and help from everyone around them.
    Prayers and deepest sympathies to all.

  • Kamnkc says:

    My heart is so heavy right now. Prayers being said for all at New Prospect and for the owners of the horses. I keep thinking of Ollie and what a beautiful boy he was. Faye my heart breaks for your loss. Lillan too! Thinking of each of you and so thankful that Ryan, Lillian and Caitlin are safe. You are heroes for all you did to save the horses. Hearts are broken everywhere!

  • Sad says:

    Is Remmington ok? It doesnt mention anything about him? This is every horse owners worst nightmare, I hope everyone involved can overcome this tragedy.

  • Beth Collier says:

    Condolences to everyone.
    I know a number of years ago, eventer Phyllis Dawson in Virginia had a total barn loss and just happen to have enough people there to get the horses out in time, but everything else was a total loss.

  • Debbie Jean says:

    I’m reading all these beautiful comments. It’s tragic and my thoughts and prayers are with Boyd and his team. It’s so heart breaking.

  • Stacey says:

    So sad to hear about the loss of the horses at True Prospect. Caitlin my thoughts and Prayers are with you for a speedy recovery for you and Catch a Star! Please let us all know if there is anything we can do!!

  • Catie says:

    My deepest condolences to everyone involved, particularly those that did what they could to save the horses. I’m hoping that all of the horses in intensive care pull through this.

  • Staci says:

    What a heartbreaking loss, deepest sympathies to you all.

  • HFF Katie says:

    devastating, thoughts and prayers to the horses and people involved…

  • glenn says:

    This is the one horrific story that I never want to read. My condolences to everyone involved.

  • Elaine says:

    Condolences to everyone involved and thoughts and prayers with the horses at New Bolton.

  • Jen W says:

    So incredibly sad for everyone – I will keep you all in my thoughts.

  • JS says:

    God Boyd, sorry again and again and again. I don’t know what I’d do if a fireman told me I can’t go save my horse. I don’t want to think about it.

    We love you, and hope you let us know if there is anything we can do for you!!!!!!!!! Anything! Hospital bills, anything, we will be right there for you when you need help to rebuild.

    Rest in peace all you grand amazing horses – we will not forget.

  • Susan says:

    This is something that no one should have to go through and something we all fear. I join with everyone else in sending my sincere condolences to all and well wishes for the surviving horses.

  • Lizzy says:

    Words cannot convey how heartsick I am for all involved. They have my deepest empathies.

  • Lavinia Johnston says:

    Can’t quite come to grips with the horror and tragedy of this. I am so so sorry. Much love and deep condolences. My thoughts and prayers to all involved.

  • Maryann says:

    Words cannot adequately express the sadness I feel for you and the owners of the horses.

  • DH says:

    So sorry for the lost horses. My heart breaks for them. Prayers for the other horses to recover. Hearing about barn fires makes my heart sick. It is very upsetting. Kudos to those helping. I can’t imagine any peace knowing a horse went this way. Thoughts and prayers to all.

  • M.Moore says:

    So, so sorry for your loss in this frightening tragedy!

  • Anonymous says:

    To Boyd and his team there are no words that can express the depth of a heart break and tear felt sorrow that accident such as this causes, just a visceral reaction of despair!

  • James Marcus says:

    To Boyd and his team there are no words that can express the depth of a heart break and tear felt sorrow that accident such as this causes, just a visceral reaction of despair!

  • D. Shaw says:

    So very sorry for those who lost their horses. For Melanie, we were at May Daze in Barn 16 and the loss of your horse devastated each and every member of our team. A horible weekend for so many people. Our thoughts are with you.

  • amlminpin says:

    What a terrible tragidy! I’m so sorry for your losses.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all, and hoping the horses at New Bolton all make a full recovery.

  • Sabine Adriance says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you through these devastating times!

  • Lauren says:

    This breaks my heart. I can’t imagine losing one horse much less six to such a tragedy. Boyd, the horses, and specifically their owners and riders are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Megan says:

    My hopes for a steady recovery for those injured and emotional support in dealing with the losses! You’ll be in my thoughts!

  • Fran Severn says:

    Heartbreaking. There are no words…
    We suffered an electrical fire that destroyed our barn last year. Thankfully, none of the horses were inside, although we lost some other animals. It was also electrical. One of the ventilation fans overheated. A typical box fan, properly placed and hung with bungee cords. The Fire Marshall said there were probably a hundred fans just like that running in other barns in the county; this was the one that overheated. Suggestions: check the fans regularly to insure that there is no dust and crud building up in the motor. There are also some fans which have fail-safe switches: if the motor begins to overheat, the fans shut off. Expensive, but how we wish we’d known about them!

  • Noelle says:

    I’m so sorry. Truly devastating. Godspeed sweet horses.

  • Carole at Angels Crossing Farm says:

    This is a horsemen’s worst nightmare. Praying for comfort for you and owners of these wonderful animals!
    Peace to you that surpasses all understanding!

  • Halina says:

    My heart goes out to all of those affected by this sickening loss. Deepest sympathies…..

  • Eventersmom says:

    I wish I could hug all of you, I’m so sorry for this unfortunate situation. Weeping right along with you. Prayers for strength.

  • Seema says:

    Deepest sympathies for those lost and thoughts and prayers to those recovering and all those who have lost in this tragic accident

  • Devin says:

    My sympathy to all owners of the horses and the horses, i feel your pain.

  • Anonymous says:

    Nothing strikes horror in the mind of the horse owner or lover as much as BARN FIRE…my sincere sympathy and condolences to all….Peace with you all…

  • Disgusted says:



  • debora says:

    So terribly terribly sorry. I have no words.

  • Alicia Robicheaux says:

    My prayers are sent out to everyone involved. What a horrible tragedy. I lift these horses up in prayer as well as their owners. God Bless. I am so so very sorry.

  • cynthia brewster-keating says:

    our prayers are with you and the owners of the horses lost in the fire

  • Lindsay says:

    I am so unspeakably sorry for everyone touched by this tragedy. Boyd, Silva, Caitlin, Lillian, Ryan, and all the owners, breeders, and riders of the horses — my thoughts are with you.

  • megan Klein says:

    wishing you and the families of all the horses that were harmed the best …..

  • Annie Schmidt says:

    We are in Germamy and just heard the devastating news.
    I’m sending positive, healing thoughts to All. May the injured horses
    heal and recover well, and may the horses spirits that passed on to the animal spirit world run free forever. Bless their souls !

  • eventer79 says:

    I am behind the program, having been off the grid until this evening. But I wanted to send my heartwrenched thoughts, for whatever they are worth, to the crew up north. I saw lots of Boyd and his hard-working crew in Virginia last weekend and the passion is unmistakable. There is nothing that can stem the horror of tragedy but there are four very lucky horses in recovery right now and I wish quick healing to them and to everyone there.

  • Belinda Lloyd says:

    Deepest Sympathy from Australia to Boyd, Silva and crew. Your are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep that Aussie resilience, we are all thinking of you at this terrible time!

  • Ann says:

    I am so sorry. My deepest sympathies for all.

  • Betsys says:

    I pray everyone gets through this and all is rebuilt and horses and people recover and hearts become light again.

  • Sam says:

    A terrible loss for the sport and the people involved. =( My thoughts are with everyone.

  • Louise hoit says:

    I am so very sorry to learn of your devastating fire. It has to be one of the horrors that we horse people never want to endure. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Kimberly says:

    So sorry for the loss of the horses and everything!! Prayers with everyone involved!!

  • Tami P says:

    Prayers for healing and mending of hearts go out to all. Deep Sympathy.

  • beth says:

    thoughts are with you…such a sad day for the eventing community..my heart breaks for those wonderful horses involved..horses can NOT be replaced..jingles for those in New Bolton..

  • Ruth Warner says:

    That is so sad. My prayers go out to the families who lost their furry loved ones. I can’t tell you how badly I feel for the horses. My sincere and deepest condolences.

  • buzzterbrown says:

    Shocked and laid low by your loss. Deepest condolences.


  • Manfred Lewis says:

    Hello Boyd and Silva. My heart goes out to your loss. I bought Uma Corwin from the two of you a few years ago and was so impressed with your professionalism. This is a tragedy that no one should face and I am so sorry. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Marcia says:

    God Bless Boyd, Silva,the horses lost and all of their and true Prospect’s faithful team.

    We love you

  • Pamela Dawson says:

    How heartbreaking! Please know that even folks like me – whom you do not know nor will likely ever meet – are praying for you. The photo makes me cry.

  • Anonymous says:

    Jane Don and I are thinking of you Boyd and Ryan and everyone else. Hearbreaking for you all

  • Cathy Blackmon says:

    My heart, tears, and prayers go out to all involved. May Our Lord cover you in His love and comfort that transcends all understanding.

  • Anonymous says:

    Unbelievable! Bad things do happen to good people… I hope this doesn’t stop your success here in thus country for us! We love you!

  • serena says:

    so so sad what a terrible thing condolences to everyone and the full recovery of the surviving horses.From a budding eventer.

  • Amber Baker-Reilly says:

    So sorry for the losses of Boyd and the rest of the group. It’s a terrible tragedy and hard to lose a loved one 4 or 2 legged. I have experienced this and was fortunate to not have any losses but smoke inhalation myself. Prayers and well wishes to the ones recovering and much sympathy for your loss.

  • Patricia Crane Home Bush Park says:

    My god what does someone say…….god bless you all………. I afraid time is your only allie at this tome

  • Lynn says:

    May God put his healing hands on Silva and Boyd and their team.

  • Art and Kerry Uytendaal says:

    Just read about this tragic news and our thoughts are with you all.

  • Mary Phelps says:

    Sending you all our thoughts, prayers, and strength is this time of great loss. We will keep tuned into developments as funding is being set up. Our hearts go out to all, and we have the deepest admiration for the heroes who did what they could to save the horses they did.

  • Jessie McCarty says:

    I was horrified to read this this morning, my deepest condolences to the Martins and the other folks who lost horses. Best wishes for full recoveries for the injured horses.

    Also, a shout out to Lillian, Caitlin and Ryan; you guys are heroes, getting out who you could. I am very glad none of you were seriously injured!

  • Wendy Gilbertson says:

    My prayers are with all of you and the poor horses that are in recovery that survived. God Bless and Rest in Peace to those wonderful animals that didn’t make it.

  • Rachelle Joisce (ne Bolton) says:

    Guys soooo sorry to hear this! Every horse owners worst nightmare.. Thinking of u xo

  • Barbara says:

    Words can not describe my sorrows, emotions and heartache I am feeling for everyone and all the horses ! Many, many prayers going out !

  • Kristin Cordiak says:

    Such horrid news. Sorry beyond words for the horses lost to such a tragic end. Wishing the families who lost their horses loving support at this difficult time. Please know we hurt for you all. To the recovering horses and their owners, fight on, you are needed now more than ever.

  • Linda Simonson says:

    I’m wondering where this happened, but ultimately it doesn’t matter. It is just a terrible, terrible tragedy for everyone associated with the horses and the barn. I feel sick just thinking about the horses and the pain of their owners and others who knew and loved them. My thoughts are with them all.

  • Kim Braun says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all that have lost in this tragedy! I’m so sorry for your losses! This is a devastating loss to the equine community! My heart goes out to you!

  • Heidi Zuk says:

    I am so sorry for all of you. I have tears in my eyes and can only imagine your pain. I hope everyone left after this tragedy can heal and gallop on. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Carol says:

    What a devastating experience to go through. To all of you going through this tragedy, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Kym Schramm - Dom's mum says:

    Boyd, Silva, Woodsy and everyone connected with True Prospect and the horses – we were devastated to hear of this terrible incident and your heartbreaking loss. Please know you are all in our thoughts.

  • Marsha in DE says:

    We all can try to say how sad and sorry we are for this tragedy, but words are unable to express our deepest condolences. However we can rest assured that there are 6 beautiful horses who are all running free right now. God speed the recovery of the ones in New Bolton’s care.

  • Jenna says:

    My prayers go out to the horses and their owners to get through this difficult period. Seconds after I heard of the fire i received an e-mail that couldn’t be for a more perfect situation. Please listen to these 4 men sing amazing grace!

  • JOHN – Can you please email me privately at delphiacres@hotmail.com   I have some technical questions about the Boyd Martin incident to ask about what you were told about this incident.   Thank you – Dr. Rebecca Gimenez, President,  www.tlaer.org 

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