In a tragic developing story, the NJ Star-Ledger is reporting that a barn fire in Lafayette, New Jersey killed 22 horses early Saturday morning. Apparently the barn was already engulfed in flames when the first responders arrived at 2am. Investigators are still determining the cause of the blaze, but NJ.com says that there was no hay or fuel stored in the barn. One of the owners, Betty Hahn, explained “It just went up like and inferno, for some reason. It’s heartbreaking.”
We have received word that there were multiple eventing connections that passed away in the fire including a young horse owned by Kristin Michaloski, who owns a few horses for Doug Payne.
One EN tipster wrote: “There were no ‘great’ names in the sport lost in the fire, but many of the lower level steady eddies and the great school masters who taught us all how to be the riders we are today…They’ve taken in mustangs and many from mass sale/slaughter yards and turned them into those lower level steady eddies, solid pony club mounts, lower level jumper speed demons, and everyday lesson ponies.“
Whether eventers, non-eventers, great names, no names, or bad names, we’re all horse people on days like this. Unfortunately there have been several barn fire tragedies in the US over the past week including the Pleasant Ridge Farm barn fire that took 9 horses including eventers owned by Rebecca Green and Briana Yetter. Eventing Nation’s thoughts and prayers reach out to the Lafayette community today and to everyone associated with recovering from this tragedy.