The Chattanooga Times Free Press brings us this sad report from a large Saddlebred breeding and training farm in Rossville, Ga.
Top photo: Matt Ledger via Walker Messenger
Thirty-five out of 36 horses in the stable perished in the fire, which erupted at around 9 p.m. on Thursday night. Farm workers were able to free one horse, a 4-year-old, from the structure before it was completely engulfed in flames.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but foul play is not suspected.
Happy Valley’s program “is one of the most widely regarded in the country,” Bob Funkhouser, editor of a Saddlebred industry publication, told the newspaper.
Owner Marion “Bit” Hutcheson is widely known and respected in the industry, he said.
Bit dedicated her life to breeding and raising world-class Saddlebreds. The industry has benefited from her passion and commitment, and we all share in her loss.” -Funkhouser
Among the horses lost in the fire were several show horses and four stallions that were the backbone of the Happy Valley Farm’s breeding operation. Some of the horses were valued as high as $250,000.
Video: One of the perished stallions, RWC I’m the Prince, sire of twice World’s Grand Champion Three-Gaited CH Grande Gil.
The colt barn and broodmare barn were not affected by the blaze. According to the news release, nearly 25 foals have been born in 2013 and they, together with almost 100 prospects and broodmares, will be the future of Happy Valley.
Read the full story here.
Horse Nation’s thoughts and prayers go out to Happy Valley.
Go hug your horse.