We have lost a lot in the past couple days, but watching the racing community come together has been inspiring. And not only local people; people from all over the country have banded as one to help the equines and humans suffering from the fire the all but destroyed San Luis Rey, loading trucks, driving in and volunteering their time.
We all know the names now – Leo Tapia, who live-streamed himself and others settings horses free (and whose video has been watched 12 million times); Martine Bellocq was in a coma due to burns suffered over 50 percent of her body while trying to save her horses, not all of whom made it out; Scott Hansen lost half his string of horses; Little Red Feather Racing lost the ‘tiny but mighty’ Riri and two-year-old Oddsmaker… the list goes on and on, and the stories continue to come in.
Horses are still missing or have been found but not identified. Check and share social media links with photos of missing or unidentified to help owners and trainers find their missing horses, and to find horses that have not been claimed find their people. Some are in need of medical attention, and often there needs to be approval from owners to get this done. The quicker owners are located, the faster horses can get help. Double check your sources though – there has been some confusion leading horses to be identified as deceased only to have them be found later alive.
For the most up-to-date info, follow Jeremy Balan of Bloodhorse on Twitter. He has been consistent in his reporting from the beginning, and we thank him profusely for his coverage.
Items are still needed for horses who were transported to Del Mar, mainly food, but workers also lost everything and are in need of household items (toiletries, etc), bedding/blankets and clothing.
Santa Anita Park is taking donations and loading trucks for deliveries daily – please drop off items through Gate 8 – ask at the guard shack if you are unsure. More info can be found on their website.
Donations can be made at many sites but be wary of fake ones – please use this one below to ensure money donations go to the right place.
Horse Care (GoFundMe via Santa Anita, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Stronach Group)
Southern California Equine Rescue is a Facebook group dedicated to getting the word out whenever anyone with horses is in need – find them here. If you find yourself in an evac zone, be sure you have equine rescue groups’ numbers handy and get the word out that you need help. All it took for this to happen was a shift in the wind…
Now just imagine if all communities came together like the horse racing community.