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ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 28, 2009, 11:06 AM
I am waiting to find out more, but I just received word that John McConnell's trailer caught fire on the way home from the Tulsa Classic Horse Show. At least two horses were euthanized on the spot. That is all the info that I have at the time, but very, very sad. He won the Prix on Sunday, April 26th just hours before the fire happened. I'm sure any good thoughts would be appreciated.

Parker_Rider
Apr. 28, 2009, 11:28 AM
Oh that's awful!! I love John, he's a great rider and trainer... please keep us updated... those who were connected with the horses are in my thoughts :(

Moocow
Apr. 28, 2009, 11:47 AM
Trailer FIRE?? Holy cow... Jingles to those involved. :( How scary.

Dune
Apr. 28, 2009, 12:08 PM
Oh gosh, how did something like that happen? :confused: So sad for those involved...

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 28, 2009, 12:10 PM
Agreed that it is very sad, and rather strange.

At this point in time, I do not have information regarding the cause of the fire or if there are more injuries than the two deaths. I hope to know more this afternoon.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 28, 2009, 12:28 PM
Wow, this is even worse than I had thought.

The tire somehow caught fire-- I do not yet know the cause of that. Three horses were burned to death. The other two on the trailer escaped and ran off. They have not yet been found, so their condition is unknown.

I can't even imagine being in this situation -- so very tragic.

OkLurchers
Apr. 28, 2009, 12:29 PM
I'm devastated by this news. Traveling accidents, I'm sure, are one of our worst fears as horsepeople--surely in my top 5 fears list. And John is one of the best trainers around--my personal favorite of all time. Such a great, hard working down to earth guy.
My prayers are with him & his family.

OkLurchers
Apr. 28, 2009, 12:57 PM
Jingling for John & missing horses. Status on Carolina?

Hunter Mom
Apr. 28, 2009, 01:00 PM
Where did this happen?

Jingles for everyone - two and four legged.

Parker_Rider
Apr. 28, 2009, 01:07 PM
John's in the hospital with a dislocated shoulder.. not sure about the other guy in the truck with him. :(

4Martini
Apr. 28, 2009, 01:16 PM
I just want to post some jingles for all involved. I've been awed watching John Ride at a number of the big comps. I hope he, the person with him and the two loose horses pull through okay! Also, sincere condolences on the ones that were lost.

LetsChat
Apr. 28, 2009, 01:27 PM
So sad... I don't know any involved but it is just a horrible story. I hope they find the other two horses and that they are ok and not injured.... :(

2hsmommy
Apr. 28, 2009, 01:31 PM
So sad!
Jingles and huge hugs!

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 28, 2009, 02:03 PM
John's in the hospital with a dislocated shoulder.. not sure about the other guy in the truck with him. :(

Thanks so much for the update. I just heard the same thing. I can only imagine poor John's worry in the hospital knowing what has happened. Please continue to update us if you hear something before I do.

Reds-n-Greys
Apr. 28, 2009, 02:53 PM
Sincerest condolences to all the lost horse's connections ~ and huge jingles that the other two are found and are safe.

MintHillFarm
Apr. 28, 2009, 02:59 PM
What a nightmare for all.... My deepest sympathy to John and his family.

Angel Undercover
Apr. 28, 2009, 03:19 PM
So sad. :(
Sending lots of jingles to everyone involved.

Tollriffic
Apr. 28, 2009, 03:23 PM
Oh no thats terrible. He's such a nice guy with some great horses.

jetsetter
Apr. 28, 2009, 03:31 PM
Major jingles to John and the McElvain family. What a devastating accident. Hopefully the lost horses will be found and reunited with their owners. :cry:

Parker_Rider
Apr. 28, 2009, 05:20 PM
Just a quick update.. Jodi Kennedy talked to bill earlier and got the story. It was 4 in the morning and the brakes caught fire. They tried to put out the fire but went thru all their fire extinguishers. John got the rig detached from the truck before the whole thing blew up. The 3 died immediately and one other one was burned but got off the trailer. That horse has since been put to sleep, its burns were just too bad. John is in the hospital in Albuquerque with a separated shoulder but bill is ok.

This is just so awful, especially because how do you prevent something like this? John is so wonderful its just mind boggling that this could happen to someone as conscientious as him.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. I'm sure this will rattle all of us who haul.. This tragedy just brings tears to my eyes...

otwist123
Apr. 28, 2009, 05:22 PM
Wow that is terrible! :(
Definitely one of my biggest fears!

eqrider1234
Apr. 28, 2009, 05:28 PM
This is so sad, and must have been so terrifing for all involved. My heart goes out to all that had to witness this and to the horses that died or were injured? did they find that last horse? I hope he/she is okay, my biggest fear while trailering is that it will somehow catch fire and the second is that the floor will give, so this is deffinatly a scary thought!

Again, im so sorry to those involved. :no::no:

Hunter Mom
Apr. 28, 2009, 05:32 PM
That is awful indeed. Jingles and prayers for all involved.

kookicat
Apr. 28, 2009, 05:38 PM
How awful. :( Sending jingles!

Quinn
Apr. 28, 2009, 06:16 PM
I can't begin to imagine.......

My best thoughts and prayers to all involved. Such a dreadful tragedy.

http://community.webshots.com/user/ballyduff

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 28, 2009, 06:27 PM
Just a quick update.. Jodi Kennedy talked to bill earlier and got the story. It was 4 in the morning and the brakes caught fire. They tried to put out the fire but went thru all their fire extinguishers. John got the rig detached from the truck before the whole thing blew up. The 3 died immediately and one other one was burned but got off the trailer. That horse has since been put to sleep, its burns were just too bad. John is in the hospital in Albuquerque with a separated shoulder but bill is ok.

This is just so awful, especially because how do you prevent something like this? John is so wonderful its just mind boggling that this could happen to someone as conscientious as him.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. I'm sure this will rattle all of us who haul.. This tragedy just brings tears to my eyes...

Well thank you for the update, but I wish it was a happier one. This absolutely has me in tears. It is so unimaginably horrific. It is nearly impossible to think about something so tragic happening to such a spectacular person, and to all of the innocent horses.

Does anyone have a mailing address for John? I'd love to write him a note. Please PM me if you have it.

copper1
Apr. 28, 2009, 06:39 PM
OMG-my deepest sympathy to all involved!

kellidahorsegirl
Apr. 28, 2009, 07:09 PM
Such a sickening tragedy and I hope all those involved can pull through eventually. I can't even begin to imagine.

I have a magazine with an ad from December stating John had joined the barn called Rancho La Querencia in New Mexico. The address is: PO Box 88, Lemitar, NM 87823

I'm sure those of you who would like to write notes could send them there and they would get to John.

Brydelle Farm
Apr. 28, 2009, 07:34 PM
My sincerest condolences to all involved and affiliated with his farm!! A horrible tragedy indeed!

monstrpony
Apr. 28, 2009, 07:38 PM
How bloody awful--condolences to all involved. Hope the remaining horse or horses are found and in good shape--

way2trvld2
Apr. 28, 2009, 07:43 PM
my prayers go out to all involved and I hope that the remaining horses are found in fine condition. What a horrible tragedy.

Melzy
Apr. 28, 2009, 08:45 PM
Sincere condolences to everyone involved. Those poor horses had such painful deaths. I am so sorry to read about this horrific tragedy.

Nski32
Apr. 28, 2009, 08:48 PM
So sad:(

My thoughts are with everyone involved

MagicRoseFarm
Apr. 28, 2009, 09:09 PM
wow this is horrendous, and I have never heard of anything like it..

I cannot imagine going through something like this, especially with horses...


My timing might be bad but...did the trailer have a living quarters and Gas bottle that it blew up?

hideyourheart03
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:31 PM
Holy Crap. Fires are my biggest fear and to have one on a trailer with horses terrifies me. This is a terrible, terrible tragedy.

I assume the winning GP horse was on the trailer? How absolutely terrible (even if he wasn't...).

Jingles and prayers to all involved.

MissIndependence
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:35 PM
There simply are no words. Many many prayers and jingles.....

ptredennick
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:42 PM
Well thank you for the update, but I wish it was a happier one. This absolutely has me in tears. It is so unimaginably horrific. It is nearly impossible to think about something so tragic happening to such a spectacular person, and to all of the innocent horses.

Does anyone have a mailing address for John? I'd love to write him a note. Please PM me if you have it.

addresses: John: po box 280, Lemitar, NM 87823, Guy: PO box 88, Lemitar, NM 87823.

Chef Jade
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:52 PM
So sad and awful for all invovled. Somehow coming off such a great winter circuit it seems that much more tragic. :(

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:55 PM
Holy Crap. Fires are my biggest fear and to have one on a trailer with horses terrifies me. This is a terrible, terrible tragedy.

I assume the winning GP horse was on the trailer? How absolutely terrible (even if he wasn't...).

Jingles and prayers to all involved.

Yes. Sadly, that is one of the horses who I am certain was burned to death. So tragic, indeed. There are no words to express the affect something of this kind has on people. I hope that John doesn't blame himself in the least for this, considering that we all know he did all that he did to save them, which is probably why he ended up hurting himself.



addresses: John: po box 280, Lemitar, NM 87823, Guy: PO box 88, Lemitar, NM 87823.

Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Old Equine Lady
Apr. 28, 2009, 10:57 PM
How terrible, my thoughts and prayers are with them!

showjumpers66
Apr. 28, 2009, 11:40 PM
What a nightmare! We watched all of the horses go on Sunday in the Classics and Prix with Sharon, Guy, their daughter, and John. My deepest condolonces to them!!!

The rig was lovely. A late model semi with matching trailer. It was a professional rig such as a DiBella custom like this - http://www.frankdibella.com/Graphics/DSC00052.jpg . I don't think there was living quarters in the trailer, but I think the truck was a sleeper model.

OkLurchers
Apr. 28, 2009, 11:59 PM
So was the first report of 5 horses on the rig incorrect?
And if John is in hosp. in Albuquerque was he very far from home?
I would never have considered something like that would happen in a newer rig like that. I would have thought it would be safer than anything else on the road. I haven't been able to get this out of my mind. I am so, so sorry...words just aren't enough.

worth_the_wait08
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:06 AM
My deepest prayers go out to John, his team, the horses' owners, and anyone else involved. It's just so scary to think that something like this can happen at all, let alone to such a great person.

I plan to send a note as soon as I can- this just has me in tears

IMissRiding
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:24 AM
Here is the update from Guy McElvain as of 3 hours ago:

8 horses were on the trailer. Three perished in the fire: Air Force, Carolina and Candilagos. Any Option is at the vet clinic with a fair prognosis. The rest of the horses are at home at Rancho Corazon. John McConnell and Bill are at home.

JstMyLuck3
Apr. 29, 2009, 08:21 AM
My thoughts are with all of those involved.

How do breaks catch fire in the first place? Is this a manufacturing problem? If so, I hope there are consequences.

Mudroom
Apr. 29, 2009, 08:28 AM
What a tragedy.

For brakes to catch fire they may have been rubbing for a while. At night the driver could not have seen smoke, but other vehicles may have noticed the smell.

I hope ALL horsepeople will pay close attention to EVERY horse rig they encounter on the roads, look at the tires, the doors, the chains, the hitch, the cables. Look, listen and smell. If something is amiss, get involved, yell out the window, make a sign do something. Our furry friends depend on us.

HuntJumpSC
Apr. 29, 2009, 08:29 AM
What a horrific experience for all involved. :( My thoughts and prayers are with them~ I can't even being to imagine...:no:

mysandi
Apr. 29, 2009, 08:33 AM
What a great tragedy. So sad. My prayers are with them.

Jealoushe
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:45 AM
My deepest condolences to all effected :(

Dirty Little Secret
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:50 AM
Keeping them in my thoughts- so tragic

nmn
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:49 PM
How horrible and scary for everyone involved. Are there any updates on the injured horse's progress? Does anybody know the brand of trailer this was? My barn's trailer has to stop frequently in the mountains to let the brakes cool and now this makes me really nervous!

Best wishes and condolences for all involved.

ProzacPuppy
Apr. 29, 2009, 01:12 PM
Oh my gosh. I think a trailer accident is every owner's nightmare.

Do we know the names of all the horses involved?

My mare is a daughter of one of Guy's horses and my daughter and her trainer have stayed over at Guy's house on a number of occasions. He and his wife are some of the nicest folks around..

ReSomething
Apr. 29, 2009, 01:59 PM
I work in shipping and trucking, and these sorts of accidents do happen. Beyond dreadful, the loss of the horses, my deepest condolences to everyone involved and prayers for full recoveries for the injured.

Release First
Apr. 29, 2009, 04:06 PM
This is from WEST COAST ACTIVE RIDERS

This message is being sent at the request of the McElvain family...after speaking to Guy McElvain here is what happened, in order to halt random speculation and false information:

FIRST it is imperative to the McElvain family that the WCAR community know that John McConnell and his brother Bill, are fine and at John's home in New Mexico.

After returning to New Mexico from the Tusla horse show, the Rancho Corozon horses were rested at the farm before heading out to California and the Del Mar show. Some time after leaving the farm the rear tires of the semi rig caught on fire just outside of Lemitar, New Mexico in the middle of the night. With eight horses on board, the fire rapidly became too hot to extinguish so John and Bill quickly went after the horses.

Four horses were safely unloaded but as the fire raged, the only option was to open the back door so the remaining horses could try to get free. One jumped out but three others were trapped and lost.

At 2 o'clock in the morning the fire department arrived to extinguish what was left.

Lost were Carolina, Air Force and Candilagos.

The family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the outpouring of concern from the horse community and apologize for not returning the many phone calls.

They are heart broken, needless to say.

Please respect their privacy as they try to put the pieces of this tragedy in place. They will update us again soon.

OUR CONDOLANCES !!!!!!!!!

ps..please if you are press, refrain from calling and give them time and privacy

starrysky
Apr. 29, 2009, 04:19 PM
Such a tragedy. My thoughts go out to everyone involved. :cry:

TBMaggie
Apr. 29, 2009, 05:11 PM
Awful, awful tragedy - I am so very sorry for your loss and am sending my sincerest condolences . What a heartbreak.....

Dooner
Apr. 29, 2009, 07:20 PM
Looks like the CO community is setting up some sort of memorial durring the May shows at the horse park. I've been told to stop by the feed office durring the show to help/contribute.

GodBlessCarolina
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:49 AM
I'm sorry for they're loss. All three horses will be missed... I loved Carolina. She was one of my favorite horse's ever. She was an amazing animal and will be missed. How is Any Option doing?

This was a tragedy No one should have to go through...

-Paige Ziegler.

juniormom
Apr. 30, 2009, 03:24 AM
We do not personally know any of the people involved, but our prayers and thoughts are with them. Our daughter was staying in a living quarters trailer that caught on fire and they lost everything. Fortunately, none of them were in it at the time. The a/c had short circuited and caught on fire. My mom died in a house fire. We haul horses all the time, so you never know what will happen.

My main thoughts and wishes are for them to know that the horses probably died almost instantly from smoke inhalation and did not have any pain. The other thing that I want them to know is to try hard not to "second guess" themselves. We all do the best that we can all of the time and sometimes, things just happen.

Take care and God Bless them and be with them during this awful time! All of you sound like wonderful friends of theirs and I know you will help them endure this!

Instant Karma
Apr. 30, 2009, 09:24 AM
Wow this is one of the few threads on this forum that has brought me to tears. I am so very sorry for their loss, sounds like they did everything humanly possibly to save their horses... how horrible:cry:

HunterJumper106
Apr. 30, 2009, 11:21 AM
That is absolutely horrible. Trailer accidents/fires are definitely a horse person's worst nightmare. My thoughts are with all of them. For those of us East Coast people who do not know these horses--could someone possibly post some pictures of them at their best--sort of like a memorial? I think that would be nice and will allow people to put a furry face with the names.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 30, 2009, 11:32 AM
I only have decent pictures of Carolina. I will post them shortly.

OAK
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:30 PM
Is Carolina the horse that won the Grand Prix?????? It it such a shame to loose any of the horses but thankfully some of them were able to get out. No one wants to hear any of our horses dying.
But just think it old have been WORSE. Happy to hear everyone is healing.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:51 PM
Is Carolina the horse that won the Grand Prix?????? It it such a shame to loose any of the horses but thankfully some of them were able to get out. No one wants to hear any of our horses dying.
But just think it old have been WORSE. Happy to hear everyone is healing.

Yes, she did win the Prix the day before she died in the trailer accident. She has actually won the Tulsa Classic the past two years straight.

gottagrey
Apr. 30, 2009, 02:10 PM
I shouldn't have looked at those pics - I am just sick. My heart and condolences go out to them..

nycjumper
Apr. 30, 2009, 02:37 PM
How heartbreakingly sad. Condolences to all who were involved with the horses.

jumpingmaya
Apr. 30, 2009, 02:39 PM
This is absolutely heartbreaking!
Can't even imagine the loss...
Best wishes to all invovled! Those pics were beautiful... All I could picture was her running in green pastures... They truly made a beautiful match...

Aubreyyy
Apr. 30, 2009, 05:40 PM
I shouldn't have looked at those pics - I am just sick. My heart and condolences go out to them..

I agree. What a nightmare- to have to stand by while you know more are in there.

I agree with the poster that said to ALWAYS look at other rigs on the road and check them- it could mean the difference between life and death! :yes:

Condolences to all affected, and godspeed to the beautiful Carolina and her barn-mates.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
May. 1, 2009, 12:53 AM
The support for them is overwhelmingly wonderful. Thanks so much, everyone -- I know they appreciate it.

ProzacPuppy
May. 1, 2009, 07:44 AM
Gosh, Carolina was a beautiful horse (of course I'm partial to greys). And I love her jump- so pretty with such bascule.

And what is especially sad is that Guy and John et al were some of the most committed and caring horsemen around. They took exceptional care with their horses and seemed to truly view them all as special individuals and partners in the sport.

Just thinking about it makes me tear up.

Kenike
May. 1, 2009, 10:05 AM
Oh wow...how awful! Thanks for letting us all know about this. I will be jingling for him and hope his own injuries will heal quickly. I also hope he doesn't blame himself or suffer any survivor's guilt. One of those horribly freak things. :(

MintHillFarm
May. 1, 2009, 11:22 AM
I shouldn't have looked at those pics - I am just sick. My heart and condolences go out to them..


I feel so badly for all the connections...I am thinking of all of you.

Moderator 1
May. 1, 2009, 04:33 PM
Mike Bingham provided this information on behalf of Betty McElvain:


Any Option was allowed to jump from the burning trailer and disappeared into the night. Shanna McConnell and Sharon McElvain had driven from Lemitar to the burn scean halfway between Hatch & Deeming New Mexico. At first light they found A.O. and took him to the Vet in Las Lunas where he had to be put down. The McElvains and the McConnell's lost their top four horses. John pulled a sholder muscle trying to save the horses but no one was burned... A Memorial Service will be held for the Horses lost at Rancho Corazon Lemitar New Mexico at noon on Saturday, May 2, 2009

The McElvain's and McConnell's wish to thank the Horse Community for their continued outpouring of concern.

Submitted for Betty McElvain (Mother of Guy)
by Mike Bingham

Bluehorsesjp
May. 3, 2009, 02:48 PM
I have been off line for a week and got back to hear this horrible news.

I an having a hard time wrapping my head around it. It is so horrific. I am glad there was a memorial service for the horses. Carolina, Airforce, Any option and Candilagos will be truly missed.

My heart goes out to the McConnells, the McElvain's and the Klein's (Carolina's owners) for such a great loss.

feather river
May. 3, 2009, 05:17 PM
Just a quick update.. Jodi Kennedy talked to bill earlier and got the story. It was 4 in the morning and the brakes caught fire. They tried to put out the fire but went thru all their fire extinguishers. John got the rig detached from the truck before the whole thing blew up. The 3 died immediately and one other one was burned but got off the trailer. That horse has since been put to sleep, its burns were just too bad. John is in the hospital in Albuquerque with a separated shoulder but bill is ok.

This is just so awful, especially because how do you prevent something like this? John is so wonderful its just mind boggling that this could happen to someone as conscientious as him.

Thoughts and prayers go out to all involved. I'm sure this will rattle all of us who haul.. This tragedy just brings tears to my eyes...

This happens over and over again in the U.S. What happens is the bearings are either dry, too loose or too tight and they get dry. Heat builds up, you start to see smoke, and then whatever grease is there catches on fire [grease is petroleum and will burn with enough heat--use grease that only ignites at extremely high temperature--don't just use any old wheel grease]. Then the fire spreads to the tire and you have a trailer fire.

You need to remember to constantly check your wheels for not just the brakes, but even more importantly the bearings. And don't forget the brakes. If you use them too much, or improperly they will also overheat, and the same cycle starts with the grease starting to turn to water due to the heat, then the bearings get dry, etc.

This is a preventable incident. Take care of your trailer and every time you stop put your hand on your brake drums. If they burn you because they are like putting your hand on the hot stove top, they are too hot and there is a problem.

3Dogs
May. 3, 2009, 06:38 PM
FR - I know your heart is in the right place but the "preventable accident" line - which may have merit - seems out of place here, at this point in time.


Until they do the "forensics" on this horrible horrible "accident" I am not sure that any conclusions can be drawn. All we know at this point is that a horrific thing occurred, a family of humans and horses was terribly affected :no:, and right now? My deepest condolences to all involved!

Bluehorsesjp
May. 3, 2009, 08:07 PM
FR,
I'd like to add my voice to 3dogs. The road where the accident occurred is not a place where you would ride your brakes. Also it is a new rig.
I am sure there will be an investigation into exactly what happened. But until there are some official results I think any mention of fault is misplaced.

firelizardfarm
May. 3, 2009, 09:01 PM
Having competed with and against them for many years, I am deeply saddened to hear of this. Carolina was indeed an awesome mare.I sincerely wish John a speedy recovery and hope to see them all at the shows again soon. Sher Khan, Dianna and Stella Conklin

feather river
May. 3, 2009, 09:24 PM
FR,
I'd like to add my voice to 3dogs. The road where the accident occurred is not a place where you would ride your brakes. Also it is a new rig.
I am sure there will be an investigation into exactly what happened. But until there are some official results I think any mention of fault is misplaced.

Nobody was pointing blame, so find someone else to criticize. I am a commercial hauler. This type of problem is all too common. You see it on horse trailers, 5th wheel trailers and the big 53 foot trailers if you are on the road a lot. Doesn't matter if it is a new trailer or everyone involved was super diligent. The fact is--horses lost their lives needlessly. This was preventable. If you keep a check on your trailer wheels every time you stop, or if you just look back at them while you are driving--you can tell if they are too hot and/or if they are smoking.

If you want to sit around and just boo-hoo, then fine, but don't criticize me for maybe giving a little bit of helpful information to someone else that just might prevent the next needless loss of life or equipment.

HunterJumper106
May. 3, 2009, 09:29 PM
feather river--as much as well all appreciate your knowledge and advice, this is not the time nor the place to say it was "preventable" because it is not known if it was preventable or not. we all want to prevent things like this from happening in the future and it was a horrible HORRIBLE accident but you saying that is was preventable and in turn blaming the owners/drivers/caretakers is NOT helpful in any way.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
May. 3, 2009, 09:40 PM
If you can handle it, grab a tissue and watch this beautiful memorial video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoecp5sRjzg

Meredith Clark
May. 3, 2009, 09:42 PM
So horrible! I can't imagine being in a position where you can't help a horse (or any person or animal) in physical danger. I'm sure they did everything they could and i'm glad they weren't hurt trying to save the horses.

Tollriffic
May. 3, 2009, 09:54 PM
feather river--as much as well all appreciate your knowledge and advice, this is not the time nor the place to say it was "preventable" because it is not known if it was preventable or not. we all want to prevent things like this from happening in the future and it was a horrible HORRIBLE accident but you saying that is was preventable and in turn blaming the owners/drivers/caretakers is NOT helpful in any way.

Thank you. Whether or not this tragedy was preventable is something to be examined later. Right now there are several families heartbroken over the loss of their beloved horses quite possibly blaming themselves. Support is what they need, not advice claiming it was preventable and something they possibly did wrong.

feather river
May. 3, 2009, 09:57 PM
feather river--as much as well all appreciate your knowledge and advice, this is not the time nor the place to say it was "preventable" because it is not known if it was preventable or not. we all want to prevent things like this from happening in the future and it was a horrible HORRIBLE accident but you saying that is was preventable and in turn blaming the owners/drivers/caretakers is NOT helpful in any way.

you need to read my post. I did not even mention the owners/drivers/caretakers. But I will not be PC'd into a change of my opinion. It was preventable. Check your trailer brake drums every time you stop. Check your rear view mirrors and look at the trailer wheels. Pull over before the flames are engulfing the trailer.

you need to find someone else to pick on. I just hope my advice saves someone else's horse. Maybe they will read my post and take a few precautions.

feather river
May. 3, 2009, 10:04 PM
Thank you. Support is what they need, not advice claiming it was preventable and something they possibly did wrong.

you too need to read my post. I simply mentioned that there are things all of us need to do and watch for when pulling a horse trailer. The death of these horses might never have happened. You can ignore my advice if you wish. this is a public forum. I felt I was helping others who might read this thread, and will not be beat down by PC comments.

I see these fires on the road all the time. Some are from equipment failure, some are from lack of maintenance, sometimes it is just from running over debris on the road. Driving a truck and hauling live animals is a responsibility. I was offering advice that everyone could use for their next time out hauling their own horse. Take it in the manner it is given.

fair judy
May. 3, 2009, 11:46 PM
feather river, you have no personal knowlege of this incident, and should keep your "opinions" to yourself.

OkLurchers
May. 4, 2009, 12:01 AM
Thank you for posting the link to the video. It was beautifully done. My heart goes out to these lovely people; I can't imagine the sorrow they must be feeling to lose such nice horses whom they obviously cared so much for.
Question--did they lose a dog too? I saw a 5th name "Quest" and the close up of the dog at the end.

Parker_Rider
May. 4, 2009, 12:25 AM
If you can handle it, grab a tissue and watch this beautiful memorial video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoecp5sRjzg

Oh thank you for posting this.. how beautiful and heartwrenching... Can't wait to give John a hug next week at the spring preview at CHP.

FR, as much as I appreciate the speculation as to what could have caused this (since I did ask "how could you prevent such a thing" after all), it's called tact, not PC-ness. John could have been a professional hauler, for as much as he's traveled and at 4 a.m. you wouldn't necessarily see smoke. Let's wait to see what exactly caused this before we throw words like "preventable" and "should have checked brakes/fluids" at every stop, because I'm absolutely positive that John wouldn't be neglectful in hauling these very valuable ($$ and emotionally) animals. And yes, I did read your post.

In any case, you think we can convince John in the future to wear that wig again that he's seen in at the end of that video?

feather river
May. 4, 2009, 12:54 AM
feather river, you have no personal knowlege of this incident, and should keep your "opinions" to yourself.

sorry, didn't realize only folks with personal knowledge of this incident were allowed to comment.

missed that part of this thread's rules.

Jumphigh83
May. 4, 2009, 09:21 AM
If that were true the only ones who could/should post are those involved IN THE ACCIDENT...the rest is just hearsay, albeit "personal" hearsay.
What a shame. Thoughts and prayers to all involved. Makes me want to drive looking backwards(at the trailer)!

Moderator 1
May. 4, 2009, 09:30 AM
Everyone please take a breath. There hasn't been any information posted yet to our knowledge confirming the source of the fire in this accident, so please be careful in indicating otherwise.

FR has provided some general info re: trailering safety, which will hopefully be of use to those reading the thread. The parties involved are likely devastated, regardless of whether or not the accident was preventable.

I just did a quick search for threads re: "trailering safety" and didn't see any pop up, so this could be a good opportunity to start a reference thread containing information like FR's for those looking to learn more about transporting their horses as safely as possible.

We'd be happy to move it into the reference forum in the future if someone sends us a link.

Thanks,
Mod 1

Vandy
May. 4, 2009, 12:09 PM
Mod1 and feather river, here it is.

http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=202611

RAyers
May. 4, 2009, 12:23 PM
Having grown up with the McConnell's (Lousie is Mom#2 to me), I can attest to John's diligence in keeping his equipment in top shape. I have hauled plenty with the boys over the years all over the place. I know John knows how to keep a rig maintained, whether he does it or has his DOT mechanic do it. And I am sure Guy is not going to be a fool either.

Knowing John and Billy, they stopped as soon as they were aware and as soon as they could. Hell, at 4 am I can't see my trailer axles/wheels in the rear view mirror so I am not sure how they could either.

As for the wig, we did a lot worse in younger years. He still looks good in drag, though! :D

Reed

Long Spot
May. 4, 2009, 03:01 PM
I am late to this, and am just at a loss as to what to say.

I rode with John in the late 90's and early 2000's. I am so so sorry to hear this. Thank you to the person who posted an address. I will be sending a card.

RAyers, I agree with you, John has always been a diligent and thoughtful horseman. Sometimes accidents just happen.

cssutton
May. 4, 2009, 11:04 PM
Mod1:

One thing every trailer owner should do is have the wheel bearings packed according to the trailer manufacturer's instructions and the brakes checked at the same time.

I recently bought a horse in Montana and had it shipped to my agent in VA. Shortly before the horse arrived at my agent's farm, a bearing ran dry and overheated the axle to the point that it wrung off causing the wheel and fully inflated tire to go under the trailer, breaking the frame.

The trailer was totaled. Luckily the horses were OK even though this happened at highway speed.

The driver was clueless as to how it happened. He thought he had a blowout.

Many trailer owners take very little care of their trailer and buy cheap tires because they feel that the trailer is secondary in control to the tow vehicle. While it is true that a good tow vehicle will stabilize a goose neck trailer, that does not necessarily mean that the trailer will not be destroyed and the horses severely injured. I put the best tire on my trailer money can buy and I have the bearings packed and brakes checked twice a year.

CSSJR

If we do not wish to lose our freedom, we must learn to tolerate our
neighbor's right to freedom even though he might express that freedom
in a manner we consider to be eccentric.

cssutton
May. 4, 2009, 11:06 PM
Sorry about the double post.

They are updating the cell tower that serves this area and I get a lot of dropped connections. The result is that I can't always tell when a post has gone through.

CSSJR

kellidahorsegirl
May. 5, 2009, 12:53 AM
If you can handle it, grab a tissue and watch this beautiful memorial video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eoecp5sRjzg

Beautifully done and very classy. Still just such a heartbreaking thing to have happen. I can't imagine. It definitely surreal.

I hope everyone is hanging in there...



Thanks for posting that

Plumcreek
May. 5, 2009, 04:01 PM
Having grown up with the McConnell's (Lousie is Mom#2 to me), I can attest to John's diligence in keeping his equipment in top shape. I have hauled plenty with the boys over the years all over the place. I know John knows how to keep a rig maintained, whether he does it or has his DOT mechanic do it. And I am sure Guy is not going to be a fool either.

Knowing John and Billy, they stopped as soon as they were aware and as soon as they could. Hell, at 4 am I can't see my trailer axles/wheels in the rear view mirror so I am not sure how they could either.


And from the location per the WCAR post, they were not very far down the road from home when the fire started.

Lesmiz_07
May. 5, 2009, 04:30 PM
This past sunday (May 3rd) my parents were driving on 81 near Hagerstown and saw a 15 horse tractor trailer rig had crossed over the burm and hit into the guard rail on the opposite side. Has anyone heard anything of that?

OAK
May. 5, 2009, 05:06 PM
Let's hope it was an EMPTY rig!!!!!!!!

Lesmiz_07
May. 5, 2009, 05:24 PM
That was what I was hoping! I asked if they had seen a barn or company name on the side, and they didn't, so we have nothing to go off of.

feather river
May. 6, 2009, 03:23 AM
Having grown up with the McConnell's (Lousie is Mom#2 to me), I can attest to John's diligence in keeping his equipment in top shape. I have hauled plenty with the boys over the years all over the place. I know John knows how to keep a rig maintained, whether he does it or has his DOT mechanic do it. And I am sure Guy is not going to be a fool either.

Knowing John and Billy, they stopped as soon as they were aware and as soon as they could. Hell, at 4 am I can't see my trailer axles/wheels in the rear view mirror so I am not sure how they could either.

As for the wig, we did a lot worse in younger years. He still looks good in drag, though! :D

Reed

somehow I think we are missing the tragedy here--the senseless loss of the horses. :(

LarryBird
May. 6, 2009, 03:42 AM
I didn't know that a trailer could catch fire from overheated wheel bearings. I never check mine but will definitely have them checked regularly from now on.

ForTheLoveOfHorse
May. 7, 2009, 03:34 PM
I didn't know that a trailer could catch fire from overheated wheel bearings. I never check mine but will definitely have them checked regularly from now on.

As sad as this is, it is a great lesson/reminder for everyone. I'm happy to hear that you will be regularly checking your wheel bearings from here on out. :)

funnygirl
May. 19, 2009, 09:36 PM
does anyone know what brand of trailer John was driving?

Parker_Rider
May. 19, 2009, 09:48 PM
does anyone know what brand of trailer John was driving?

Showjumper66 said earlier she thought it was a Frank Dibella.. pg 3 I believe.

They did a wonderful tribute to Carolina on Sunday at the Horse Park... it was absolutely beautiful and so so sad...

Lori
May. 20, 2009, 11:56 AM
How absolutely frightening and sad.
My condolences to all involved.

MintHillFarm
May. 20, 2009, 12:04 PM
feather river, you have no personal knowlege of this incident, and should keep your "opinions" to yourself.

Yes, I think so too, Judy... It was a horrible accident which could have happened to anyone.

feather river
May. 20, 2009, 01:56 PM
In light of this tragedy, I agree
Quote:
Originally Posted by fair judy View Post
feather river, you have no personal knowlege of this incident, and should keep your "opinions" to yourself.
Yes, I think so too, Judy... It was a horrible accident which could have happened to anyone.

Well Excuse Me from expressing an opinion on the tragic loss of the 3 horses as it relates to others thinking about their own animals and trailer safety.

If you don't like opinions about matters posted, then why are you on here anyway!:confused: