Scary news out of Kentucky on Saturday when a barn at Old Friends caught fire; fortunately, no humans or horses were injured. A fundraising account has been set up to help rebuild.
Early on Saturday, January 23, in the middle of heavy snow thanks to a major winter storm, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center’s quarantine and hospital barn caught fire and was summarily destroyed. While the historic snow storm certainly slowed down rescue efforts, it also perhaps saved the lives of the two horses who were stabled in the barn at the time: farm staff was staying overnight at Old Friends in the first place due to the storm and were able to respond to the burning barn right away.
Fortunately, the horses — Alphabet Soup, a former Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, and Archie’s Echo, a 27-year-old retiree — were safely evacuated and no equine or human injuries were reported, save for a firefighter who fell on ice. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
While the quarantine/hospital barn was totally lost in the blaze, farm staff and fans of Old Friends are thankful that no lives were lost. In an effort to help rebuild, a GoFundMe account has been created, accepting donations towards new construction.
Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Center is a sanctuary in Georgetown, Kentucky, housing retired Thoroughbred racehorses at the end of their careers. Residents include both high-profile former superstars and more humble runners. You can read our profile of Old Friends here.