The Horse Chronicle

A fire Sunday morning in Prospect, Ky., killed a horse and destroyed a 36-stall barn at Stone Place Farm. No one was reported injured.

The barn was leased to River View Stables, operated by eventers Debbie Snyder and Sarah Younger, and housed 31 horses owned by them and their clients, including some horses used by the University of Louisville riding team. Snyder and Younger rented three other barns and kept about 40 additional horses, including boarders and course 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.

Before and after photos of the 36-stall barn leased by River View Stables at Stone Place Farm in Prospect, Ky. Photos courtesy of Theresa Martorana

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The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but will be investigated by the Louisville Metro Police Department Arson Unit.

“It’s still hot and it’s too hot for them to really come in and start their investigation,” Snyder said at noon Monday. The arson unit handles all fire investigations in the area whether or not a crime is suspected, she added.

With the other barns on the property full, Snyder and Young’s farm crew mobilized to clean out a hay shed near the burned building and set up temporary stalls. The structure will fit 24 stalls, she said, and allow horses to use the same fields and “have some normality”.

“Our agricultural team has been amazing. … We try to keep our heads up and move on and not focus on all that we’ve lost,” she said, pausing at the thought before continuing, “Let’s be positive and remember why we are all doing this.

“The Louisville community has been amazing and has really reached out to us. Our residents, none of them have let us see them cry or be on the floor; it’s really moving.

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Fire investigators are not yet able to enter the smoldering remains of the 1960s barn, which caught fire early Sunday morning.

Everything in the barn was destroyed, Snyder said. Halters, leads and buckets have poured in since the fire, and now they have enough to look after the 30 displaced horses.

“We lost everything, not just us but our customers,” Snyder said. “We have a lot of children, middle schoolers who come up to our barn; they lost all their gear, grooming supplies, helmets, boots…everything you think you want for your horse.

A GoFundMe page to collect donations was set up by boarder Katie Reisz. It is also organizing several drop-off days in the coming weeks to allow local residents to deliver any items they wish to donate.

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