BC Horse Racing Community in Shock after Deadly Barn Fire
June 4, 2014
Seventeen Standardbred horses and one Miniature horse perished in a large barn fire in Langley, BC, on Sunday, June 1st. The barn was on the property of the All Seasons Mushroom Farm, which was being leased by Rick Mowles of JJJ Stables, owner of most of the horses.
Forty-four firefighters responded to the call, and when fire crews arrived at the property located at 224th Street near 40th Avenue, the building was already fully involved and parts of the roof had collapsed. Fire investigators may never be able to determine the cause of the massive fire that completely destroyed the barn.
Buckwheat, a miniature horse, was one of the animals lost in the fire.
Fire crews were upset at what they found on arrival at the scene. “I’ve been here 22 years and I can’t say I remember anything of this significance as far as numbers with the animals,” Russ Jenkins, District Fire Chief, Township of Langley.
Most of the horses were two- and three-year-olds in training with Bill Davis for the fall harness racing meet at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale, BC. An aged Standardbred pacing mare and one cat were was also lost.
The horses were valued at half a million dollars, and more than $100,000 in equipment was also destroyed in the blaze. A spokesperson for the Davis family said they lost their entire livelihood in the devastating fire, which also represents a major loss for the racing community.
To help the family recover financially, a trust fund has been set up for the Davis family, and donations to “The Davis Family Trust” are being accepted at the Aldergrove Credit Union. Money or E-transfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (password: mornasbigboy). Or you can send a cheque to A&T Equestrian at 4516, 190 St. Surrey, B.C. V3S 0L5.
One of seventeen Standardbreds killed in the fire.
Supporters will also hold a charity pub night at Langley Town Hall on June 18 to raise money for the family, and organizers are searching for prizes and sponsors for the event, as well as horse equipment to be donated. Tickets for the pub night and items for the fundraiser may be dropped off at A&T Equestrian at 4615 – 190 Street, Surrey, BC.
Photos courtesy of Tanis Pearson