Stop the fires: Help at hand for Canada’s hard-hit horse racing industry

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stable-fireCanada’s Equine Guelph is running a pilot program this summer to help educate the horse industry about fire prevention.

The move follows a rash of barn fires in Ontario at the beginning of the year, which devastated many members of the racing industry.

In January, more than 40 horses died after a horror blaze at a harness racing establishment in Ontario, Canada, and just under  two weeks later another 13 died in a stable fire in the province, near Mount Forest, northwest of Guelph. In late February another nine died in a barn fire in Oxford County.

The pilot program being introduced this year by Equine Guelph and its partners will encompass thoroughbred, standardbred and quarter horse racing, whether racing, training or breeding.

A limited number of visits will be scheduled for farms interested in having a fire prevention professional walk through their facility, providing a valuable assessment and recommendations to maximize safety.

“It is our belief that an investment in fire prevention and safety education/training will help protect people, horses and facilities.” says Gayle Ecker, Director of Equine Guelph.

“Prevention is key and this is a special opportunity to become more aware of the steps we can take to reduce the risk. Our horses are depending on us to protect them.”

For more information on fire safety and prevention visit EquineGuelph.ca/tools/fireprevention.php.

Farms interested in scheduling an assessment should contact Dr. Susan Raymond, Equine Guelph slraymon@uoguelph.ca or call 519-824-4120 ext 54230

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