Folly Farm, a hunter jumper and polo barn in Simsbury, Connecticut, suffered a tragic event on Thursday morning when a barn fire killed 24 horses. Twenty-one of the horses were riding school horses owned by the barn, and three more were privately owned.
The local fire department is still investigating the cause of the fire, but it has been determined that the horses died of smoke inhalation.
According to a report from the Hartford Courant, the first emergency responder calls came in at 6:50 a.m. Thursday morning and staffers were trying to free horses when firefighters arrived. It is not clear if any horses were saved in the attempt.
Folly Farm is a sprawling, family-owned facility that has taught hunters, jumpers, eq riders, and polo players for more than thirty years. They are also hosts to rated hunter/jumper shows throughout the year, and it’s not clear how much facility damage there was in the course of the fire, though they did state that horses housed in other barns were not affected.
“These gentle souls taught hundreds of children and adults how to ride, to play polo, and to love through the years,” said Alison Patricelli, general manager of Folly Farm on their Facebook Page. “They were the heart and soul of Folly Farm and of our lives. We appreciate all of the love and support we have received from horse lovers across the country.”
We anticipate that fundraisers will be forthcoming on behalf of Folly Farms, and we’ll be certain to update readers when that information is available.
Our hearts are with all those who know and love Folly Farms and their horses during this unimaginably difficult time.