from Standardbred Canada
A barn fire at Classy Lane Training Centre in Puslinch, Ontario, started at roughly 11 p.m. on Monday (Jan. 4) and claimed the lives of more than 40 Standardbred racehorses.
Trot Insider can confirm the names of 28 of the horses that perished, which includes $983,118-winning pacer Apprentice Hanover.
An article by the CBC states that firefighters from five departments — including Hamilton, Guelph and Cambridge — were called to the blaze and that there is no word at this point as to what caused the deadly fire.
Trot Insider has learned that the fire destroyed Barn 1, which housed horses trained by Ben Wallace, Roger Mayotte, Chantal Mitchell, Kris Di Cenzo, Dan Lagace and Floyd Amos.
Everybody in the horse racing industry is encouraged to donate funds to the affected horsepeople via an official GoFundMe page that has been set up by the Central Ontario Standardbred Association, with an alternate option set up by fan show Post Time with Mike and Mike here. For more on the COSA initiative, or to contact COSA, click here.
Classy Lane’s co-owner, Barb Millier, who is currently in Florida, has been cited as saying that her husband, co-owner Jamie Millier, is now trying to get back from Florida after having received the horrible news. Barb was cited as saying that it is too early to speculate as to what started the blaze. She also estimated that at least 43 horses, all of which were Standardbreds, lost their lives in the fire.
“It’s a sad occasion,” Puslinch Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire prevention officer, Jason Benn, said Tuesday morning. The article states that the preliminary cost of the damage is estimated to be between $4 and $6 million, and that the fire is not considered suspicious at this time.
An emotional Ben Wallace took time out of his hectic Tuesday morning to discuss the tragedy. In terms of his training business, Wallace was quoted as saying, “It’s gone. I have nothing. I have nothing. I don’t even have a stopwatch. Nothing. Anything I owned going forward, as far as my profession, is gone.”
The O’Brien Award winning trainer went on to say, “It’s the horses that we lost which is the tough thing to stomach. Buildings you can build, but these athletes that we have, we love and we cherish. We work with them every day, and they’re gone.”
To listen to Wallace’s interview, click here.
It took less than 24 hours for some of the major players in North American harness racing to step up and call for the industry to help support those affected by the blaze. Jeff Gural, Ron Burke, Mark Weaver, Michael Bruscemi and Tony O’Sullivan have all announced that they are doing what they can to help, and they want others to follow their lead. For complete information, click here.
Trot Insider can confirm the names of 10 of the Standardbreds that perished in the blaze. The list of the names of horses that lost their lives in the blaze appears below.
Floyd Amos Stable
- Hasty Heart, owned by Floyd H. Amos, Bright, Ont.
- Big Bang Ballykeel, owned by Floyd H. Amos, Bright, Ont.
Kris Di Cenzo Stable
- Beautiful Vista, owned by Kris & Anthony Di Cenzo, Hamilton; John Baldasty, Oakville, Ont.
- Distant Cam, owned by Madith Peterson, Oakville, Ont.
- Lost Glory, owned by Madith Peterson, Oakville, Ont.
- No Serious Matter, owned by Kris Di Cenzo, Hamilton; John Baldasty, Oakville, Ont.
Dan Lagace Stable
- Big Jim Dandy, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
- Dial K, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
- Freedom Summer, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
- Micro Venture, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
- Playtime Jack, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
- Prowl Seelster, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
- Southwind Billy, owned by Brad Gray, Dundas, Ont.
Roger Mayotte Stable
- Dreamliner, owned by Just In Time Stable, Mississauga, Ont. and The Fine Whine Stable, Toronto, Ont.
- Georges Legacy, owned by the Estate Of George F. Hempt Trust, Camp Hill, Pa., Bradly W. Graffius, Dover, Pa. and John G. Frisch, Camp Hill, Pa.
- Vintage Rose, owned by Gary G. Smith, Burlington, Ont.
- Weight Time, owned by Just In Time Stable, Mississauga, Ont.
Chantal Mitchell Stable
- Body Balance, owned by Doug Millard, Woodstock, Ont.
- Conata, owned by Michel Letendre, Saint-Jude, Qu. and Fernand Jodoin, St-Pie-De-Bagot, Que.
- Edgartown, owned by M T Pockets Stables, Pompano Beach, Fla. and Chantal Mitchell, Hamilton, Ont.
- Railee Special, bred by Ron Mersky, Paris, Ky.
- Sky Desperado, owned by Chantal Mitchell, Hamilton, Ont.
- SOS Ticket Master, owned by The Fine Whine Stable, Toronto, Ont.
- Striking Cheetah, owned by M T Pockets Stables, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Mitchell also lost three miniature horses: Daisy, Marguerita and Sammy (owned by Mel Tilley)
Ben Wallace Stable
- Apprentice Hanover, owned by Bradley J. Grant, Milton, Ont.
- Proven Effective, owned by Bradley J. Grant, Milton, Ont.
- Whiskey N Pie, owned by Bradley J. Grant, Milton, Ont. and WallaceStandardbreds Inc., Puslinch, Ont.
- Whistle Jimmy K, owned by Bradley J. Grant, Milton, Ont. and WallaceStandardbreds Inc., Puslinch, Ont.
Additional details will be posted when more information becomes available.
(With files from CBC and 680 News)