A Sunday morning fire in Prospect, Kentucky, killed one horse and destroyed a 36-stall barn at Stone Place Farm. No people were reported injured.
The barn was leased to River View Stables, operated by eventers Debbie Snyder and Sarah Younger, and housed 31 horses belonging to them and their clients, including some horses used by the University of Louisville Equestrian Team. Snyder and Younger lease three other barns and keep about 40 more horses, including boarders and lesson horses, on the property.
Neighbors reported the fire around 3 a.m. Only one horse was in the barn at the time, and it died in the fire.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though it will be investigated by the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Arson Unit.
“It’s still smoldering and too hot for them to really go in and start their investigation,” Snyder said midday Monday. The arson unit handles all fire investigations in the area, regardless of whether a crime is suspected, she added.
With the other barns on the property full, Snyder and Young’s farm crew have mobilized to clear a hay shed near the burned building and set up temporary stalls. The structure will fit 24 stalls, she said, and will allow the horses to use the same fields and “have some normalcy.”
“Our farm crew has been amazing. … We’re trying to keep our chins up and move forward and not focus on everything we lost,” she said, pausing at the thought before continuing, “Let’s be positive and remember why we all do this.
“The community in Louisville has been amazing and really reached out to us. Our boarders, not one of them let us see them cry or be down; it’s been really moving.”
Everything in the barn was destroyed, Snyder said. Halters, lead ropes and buckets have poured in since the fire happened, and now they have enough of them to care for the 30 displaced horses.
“We lost everything, not just us but our clients,” Snyder said. “We have a lot of kids, college kids who ride in our barn; they lost all their tack, grooming supplies, helmets, boots… anything you think you would want for your horse.”
A GoFundMe page to collect donations has been set up by boarder Katie Reisz. She also is organizing several drop-off days in the weeks ahead to allow people local to the area to deliver any items they would like to donate.