Woodstock, Ont. horse boarding facility seeks help after fire destroys barn
A Woodstock boarding facility that cares for horses is looking for help after a weekend fire destroyed a horse barn on the site.
The fire at Strachan Equine on Sunday morning swept through and destroyed everything the facility used to care for the gentle giants. Those at the facility are now left to pick up the pieces.
“We have to now constantly check for temperatures, check for breathing, making sure that they’re breathing properly, and just overall make sure that they’re not going to have a heart attack,” said Monique Turcotte, a long time associate at the facility. “Because now with all the stress it could lead up, even a week after, it could take that long for the impact of the situation, for them to come to terms with it and then react to it.”
About a dozen horses are boarded at the facility on Eleventh Line at any given time. Luckily, none were lost in the fire, but two pot-bellied pigs died and a cat is missing.
The land and the burned-out barn belong to Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, but everything inside the barn belonged to the facility and its boarders.
Monique Turcotte cares for horses at Strachan Equine in Woodstock, Ont. on Thursday, June 3, 2021, days after a barn fire. (Bryan Bicknell / CTV News)
“A lot of us are actually really lost because that was everything for us,” said Turcotte. “It’s a therapeutic place. And for it to just go up in flames it’s just very heartwrenching at this point.”
Boarder Hannah Ross was on site Thursday checking her horse for colic - a stomach condition that can be brought on by stress.
“My horse is right here, he’s right next to the fire. I didn't know if the fence was OK, I didn’t know if the trees would have caught on fire. So many thoughts were rushing through my head. If any of the horses got hurt, even if minor burns happened, it’s devastating for us because horses can go from zero to one hundred really quick with their health.”
The fire was so devastating that several days later there are still some spots that are smouldering. Estimated losses in supplies and food to take care of the horses amount to about $100,000.
Horses are seen at Strachan Equine in Woodstock, Ont. on Thursday, June 3, 2021, days after a barn fire. (Bryan Bicknell / CTV News)
The facility is looking for help so it can continue caring for the horses. It has set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000. It’s also accepting donations of supplies and food for the horses.
“We are just looking to see if we can get any type of even just donations to try and get hay for them, medical supplies for them,” said Turcotte. “Basically all of their necessities because it all went up in flames.”