A tribute to horses from Boyd Martin’s program lost in the barn fire

There are some scenarios in life, and eventing, that we all put in the very back our our minds on a daily basis, as thinking about their potential is just too scary. Trailer wrecks, barn fires, and really any situation that threatens to endanger our equine companions falls in this category. We rarely think about the potential for tragedy until the tragedy has happened, so it comes with great shock and sadness to hear that a member of our community, or team rather, has suffered such a hard blow. I know that everyone, myself and the EN team included, extend our very deepest condolences to Boyd, his owners, grooms, Abbie, and everyone else involved in the fire. 

Call Me Ollie

‘Ollie’ was a big brown horse that had as much of a Teddy Bear pedigree as he did Holsteiner. I knew Ollie personally, and he was by far one of the top 10 sweetest horses that I have ever met. He was owned by Faye Woolf, a long time supporter of Eventing, and up until recently he was ridden and competed up to the CCI** level by Becky Holder. Ollie had just started his partnership with Boyd, debuting at Jersey Fresh a couple of weeks ago, and I know Boyd had big plans for him in the future. He will be greatly missed. 
Charla was an eight year old, up-and-coming mare owned by Henley House Farms. She just recently finished in the CIC** at Fair Hill in April, and definitely looked to be a star of the future. We extend our deepest sympathies to Henley House Farms, and Boyd, for the loss of this great horse.

Phantom Pursuit
Phantom Pursuit was owned and competed by a member of the EN team, Abbie Golden. Phantom enjoyed a career with Boyd as well, including an Advanced level finish at Rebecca Farms last year.  Phantom Pursuit was showing Abbie the ropes at the Preliminary level at the time of his death. We extend our deepest condolences to Abbie and her family for the loss of this great horse. 
Ariel was a young mare, owned and ridden by Boyd’s right hand girl, Lillian Heard. Ariel was eventing at the preliminary level with Lillian, but was certainly going to have been a special horse in the future. Lillian was the first to discover the fire and played a tremendous role in saving several horses from the burning building.
Cagney Herself
Standing at 17.3 hands, Cagney was the only horse in the barn that Boyd’s long legs did not create the ‘grasshopper’ look on. She was a young mare, just starting out in Eventing, and owned by one of Boyd’s most faithful supporters, Bonnie Stedt. Bonnie owns part shares in both Neville Barbos and Otis Barbotiere, but Cagney was one of her favorites. 
Summer Breeze
Summer was an eight year old mare, owned by Anne Hennessey, and was imported from Australia in November 2009. Summer was a horse close to Boyd’s heart as she was a half sister to Shatzi W, one of his favorite Advanced horses, and was sired by Staccatto, a leading eventing sire. She certainly had all the makings to be one of the best, so her passing will be hard on everyone who knew her.  Note: The information in this post comes in part from Boyd’s website and the USEA.



  • Alighieri says:

    Abbie actually has owned Phantom Pursuit since 2007 when she completed the long format Midsouth CCI* on him, then competed him at Prelim and the one star level since then. She is not his new owner, she had owned him for four years. I would love to see EN post a picture of Abbie competing him as tribute to their partnership.

  • ezmissg says:

    Thank you for taking the time to pay tribute to each individual horse. Every one of them, his/her owner and rider, deserve singular recognition.

  • Lizzy says:

    I think they’re doing the best they can in this difficult time. I’m so thankful for their efforts to keep everyone informed with the best information available. Many heartfelt thanks to the EN team!!

  • tracycvt2001 says:

    Thank you for taking the time to pay tribute to these amazing horses. Such a devastating loss. My heart goes out to everyone at TPF.

  • Lori says:

    This has to be a nightmare for all involved. Just hard to even believe. Is there any word on Remington? Was he at a different location? Prayers, prayers and more prayers going out to all the connections. I cannot even begin to imagine how they all must feel right now. Just devastating.

  • Robin Kelly says:

    Cagney Herself was my horse prior to selling her to Bonnie. When I owned her her name was Joyride. She was Joy a dear and beautiful horse who filled my heart and my life with happy memories. She was born May 12, 2002 in my back yard. Her fathers name was Flagmount King, her mother was Lake Crescent. In 2006 I fell and broke my back 6 months later the first horse I got back on was Joy. She was so kind and gentle with me. In October 2007 a year later to the day we went to High Prairie and won the Beginner Novice Division.

    When Joy lived with me she spent her days running and playing in our pasture. I rode her on the trails and in events and she even placed 2nd in 2009 at a competitive trail ride in Santa Fe NM 25 miles per day.

    She was an optimistic horse who was willing to try anything you asked of her. I realized in 2010 she was far to talented to be my backyard horse. I felt lucky when Bonnie purchased her. I know that Bonnie is heartbroken and she did everything she could to facilitated the success of this young star.

    I wanted to write here and let people know she was dearly loved and she lived a full and happy life. No one ever treated her badly. She never went hungry or was left out. She was my daughter I was trying to send her to college, to help her succeed in a way that I would never be able to make happen. I will miss her and morn for her the rest of my life.

    Her momma forever


  • Arian Greer says:

    I just wanted to extend my deepest sympathy at the loss of these fine animals.. Losing a wonderful animal friend is never easy but only becomes a greater tragedy when it happens in such a terrible way..

    These animals were absolutely beautiful & Im sure will be missed for a long time to come.. I am so very sorry for your loss..

  • Sarah says:

    So sorry for your loss Robin. It’s always great to hear how much they were loved.

  • Katherine Mason says:

    Robin, your comments about your mare are wonderfully sad. I especially enjoyed the positive comments about her being loved and happy..somehow it makes the loss of such an awesome horse a bit easier to take, although I am sure you and everyone else is heartbroken. Take care, and I hope you can find strength and peace in tragedy.

  • Kylee says:

    God bless. Cannot imagine the loss you must feel for your horses.

  • Katherine Mason says:

    Nothing, I mean nothing, is more heartbreaking than the loss of an animal, horses especially when we love, care and interact with them in such a different way than other animals. God bless the horses that survived and the riders, owners, grooms and anyone associated with the ones that did not.

  • Christine says:

    I am so sorry. I have known of two other barn fires (1. combusted hay on a hot day; 2. a cigarette), both of which resulted in the deaths of approximately 15 horses. Horses are so incredibly helpless in such a situation, and getting them out is nearly impossible. Saving even one is an heroic act.

    My deepest sympathies.

  • Linda Capitano says:

    I can not imagine suffering through such a loss, the tribute to each lost horse is such a wonderful gesture. my sorrow is incredible to all that lost thier horses and for the horses that parished. God Bless You!

  • Patty Williamson says:

    Robin thank you for telling Joy’s story before her “college days”. I am so sorry for your loss as well as all the other owners and riders of these great horses.

  • Meghann says:

    Yes, thank you for celebrating the lives of each horse who didn’t make it through this horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Boyd and all involved. Devastating.

  • Pam Sylvester says:

    I am so very sorry to hear about the terrible loss of these gorgeous creatures..losing one to old age is bad enough but I jus could not imagine this..my heart truly goes out to everyone involved with the horses & I know they are now running free in God’s golden pasture..I pray that the survivors heal & mend quickly & are able to put the trama of this behind them..they will need lots of extra TLC..the two geldings that I have are 23 & 19 yrs old & I can’t imagine my life without them..I’ve had them their whole lives..I pray that God will comfort all the owners, groomers, riders & anyone else who cared for & loved these beautiful horses..the tribute is so awesome, it has truly touched me…God Bless

  • Pam Sylvester says:

    Robin that is so beautiful & I am so very sorry for your loss..they become a huge part of you & remain with you forever..I’m so glad that Joy had a wonderful loving life..may God comfort you sweetie & bless you for loving her..they learn from us but on the other hand I believe we learn alot more from them..You will be in my prayers along with Joy & the others…

  • blue says:

    awwwww i wonder how the fire started hmmm dangress ppl maybe that didn’t like the horses in the barn maybe i don’t know but thats really sad

  • Sarah Bam says:

    Kudos Annie, for putting this lovely tribute to the horses together in record time.

    The impact of these horses lives and deaths resonates deeply. For all that have loved and cared for these animals in their lifetime, they will not be forgotten.

  • Hesser says:

    My deepest sympathies for the loss of these wonderful animals. I was only 6 years old when the pony I rode died in a barn fire and it was the most distressing incident of my young life. I am now 65 and have had well loved and cared for horses all my life. They’re my best friends. I can only cry deeply for your loss.

  • Anonymous says:

    My heart goes out to all concerned for the devastating loss of these beautiful animals. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to them.

  • Meghan says:

    My deepest sympathy goes out to every beautiful life that was lost, and to all those whose lives will never be the same because of the tragic loss. Their spirits and memories will always be treasured.

  • Trudy Innes Richardson says:

    May each one of the people who knew or cared about these wonderful partners find peace, somehow. Thank you EN for the tribute – it can’t ease the pain that they are feeling, but it lets the rest of us lighten the load by sharing.

  • Letitia says:

    so many great horses lost at once. I’m so sorry for your tragic loss. Know that others around the country are thinking of your family of horses and owners/riders and grieving with you.

  • Kim says:

    Words cannot express how I feel for all involved; sending many prayers and hugs for this catastrophic loss.

  • Jodi M says:

    How very sad. my deepest condolences to all, and I know there are x-country couses in heaven, God bless them.

  • Liz says:

    What a lovely tribute. Godspeed to all these brave, beautiful horses, and condolences to all their connections on such a sad loss. :-(

  • Sylvia says:

    My crying heart goes out to the loss of these beautiful horses, so special each & every one was and such joy they gave……….such a horrible tradgedy!

  • JAS says:

    They only thought that helps me with this is a hope that they are somewhere; some meadow with tall grass and big oak trees galloping about with the other great souls and golden hearts we’ve loved in the past!

  • Cyndi says:

    Hi. Im so sorry for your loss everyone.As you can see by my email address im a horse lover. they are beautiful animals. Cyndi

  • Pat McElroy says:

    So very sad for all of your losses of these beautiful horses. I personally know how hard it is to lose one of
    your “kids” and I have cried and still cry over the loss of some of my very loved horses in the recent past.
    God Bless!

  • TBEventer says:

    I cannot imagine how terrifying it must be to run into a burning barn to rescue the horses inside. Those three individuals who did so are brave beyond comprehension. I hope they are able to heal from this traumatic event both physically and emotionally, with time. My condolences.

  • Charlotte says:

    What was the cause of the fire? How sad !

  • Sherie Vermeer says:

    I am so sorry to all the people who touched these wonderful horses…for the loss and the heartbreak. words fail at a time like this. Thank you for the lovely tribute and for sharing with us all in the horse community your love for these animals.

  • Becky says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you!

  • Jennifer Joslin says:

    Robin, these stories are so important so that everyone knows that ALL of these horses were wonderful, and that the rescue happened as it could…not just the most successful horses being rescued. It helps (just a little) to know she had a great life, my greatest sympathy goes out to you…how you must be grieving…when we read her story, how can we all not grieve? Jennifer Joslin

  • Janice Smith says:

    Our deepest sympathies. Holding you all in our prayers.

  • Janet says:

    Such a tragedy. I agree with another poster that it was beautiful that each horse lost had a special tribute made to them.

  • Missy says:

    This is so very sad. My heart goes out to everyone involved in this nightmare. I am not an eventer but horses are a big part of my life. I know how devastated I would be if this had happened to me. Thank you for the beautiful tributes to these wonderful animals. They are now at the Rainbow Bridge.

  • Otter says:

    My hearts go out to the horses and owners. It must have been a very painful death. The poor things didn’t know what was happening to them. Many beautiful memories….

  • berit kinter says:

    My heartfelt condolences to everyone involved in this tragedy. I loved reading about the beautiful horses who were lost. Yes they are at the Rainbow Bridge.

  • Barbie Gibson says:

    Somewhere…somewhere in time’s own space
    There must be some sweet pastured place
    Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
    Some Paradise where horses go.
    For by the love that guides my pen
    …I know great horses live again.

    Stanley Harrison

  • LF Taylor says:

    The New Zealand equestrian community is thinking of you Boyd, and your team.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree completely–there needs to be a photo of Abbie and her beloved baby.

  • XCJump says:

    Thinking of all of those who are affected by this tragedy. My heart aches.

  • Lorelei Kelly says:

    I am so sorry for this loss. What a tragedy. I knew Cagney as a foal and young horse in New Mexico…as she was raised by my sister and mom..what a sweet and willing girl she was. Tears are falling across the world for them and for you. Bravo to the staff who tried to save them. That bit of news lifted my spirits. Thank you.

  • Bonnie Stedt says:

    Thank you for all the comments and support. Both Robin and I lost a true friend. Cagney (Joy) was such a special horse and I so loved watching Boyd compete and ride her. He took her from Novice this February to Prelim this May where she was 4th in her first try.
    She just loved having a job and being in Boyd’s program. Robin is right, she was a happy horse. I will miss her greatly….
    I was with Boyd, Silva, Phillip and Edy and a number of their friends Tuesday night–I know Boyd is completely stunned with all of the love and support he has seen. This is a devastating event–for him and for us.
    The other horses are in great care at New Bolten–Otis looks to be OK, Neville is more serious. I have faith everything that can be done is being done.
    Thanks again for supporting this very talented, remarkable and caring young man. It means the world to him…

  • OliviaHannah says:

    this is great, whoever took the time to write all this is a wonderful person. this is a very sad story and i wish we could change it all1 but i am just wondering how it happened, and if any people got hurt? my greatest positive wishes towards all the people who left their beloved friend

  • Sunny Cross says:

    Fitch’s Corner will run a Clear Round Derby on Saturday June 4th, all proceeds to the fund for Boyd & Silva, how do we get that info to you so it can be posted on Eventingnation? Best, Sunny

  • Cheryl Harshall says:

    So sorry for the loss of these wonderful animals. Thanks for the individual tributes to each horse. Best wishes and prayers for the complete recovery of the surviving horses.They are truly fortunate to have wonderful people to love and care for them.

  • Susan Moden says:

    They say to touch heaven, your soul must go higher to streets that are paved with gold and with pearls…but for me it’s a ridge, high above an endless valley being one with my horse at the top of the world. My deepest condolences to all involved in this senseless tragic loss. Just know these wonderful horses are surely in heaven and you will all see them again.

  • karen says:


  • PATTY J ELL says:


  • Irene says:

    My heart breaks as the tears fill my eyes reading of this terrible, tragic loss. May God bring peace and comfort to all the broken hearts suffering as a result.

  • Debbie Aashton says:

    Thank You for all your effort in paying tribute to these Beautiful Horses. They left behind memories for all who knew and Loved them. Together in Heaven they are finally free..Free to run, Play and Just Be..Praise You LORD. Amen

  • Lindsey P says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of such amazing and beautiful creatures. You have my deepest condelences.

  • I think other site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and magnificent user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You are an expert in this topic!

  • Did anyone ever think to THANK the FIREFIGHTERS for their efforts?  They are all volunteers.  They leave their beds in the middle of the night to assist with a fire (that was fully preventable with a sprinkler system and appropriate alarms and proper fire prevention) and no one thinks to thank them?  Hmmmmm….. 

  • Hollyt53 says:

    Segment on abc radio australia about Neville Bardos this morning, looked him up online and found these stories. Very sad.

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