A FIRE has killed three horses in the Wellington stable of American show jumper Kelli Cruciotti (21).
The blaze broke out at approximately 1.30am on Thursday morning in the equestrian community of Wellington in Florida, where the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival is currently taking place, and a huge contingent of Irish riders live in the area.
Eighteen horses were saved from the burning fire, but sadly three died. According to local Wellington media reports, a firefighter and two deputies were treated for minor injuries. The cause of the fire is not yet known.
Writing on her Facebook page, Cruciotti said: “Tonight every horse owners’ worst nightmare came true at our farm in Wellington - a barn fire. My team did an amazing job getting horses out of their stalls quickly saving 18 lives.
“Please pray for the owners of the three horses we were unable to save. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the families. We are grateful for the outpouring of help in the middle of the night with trailers, feed and help leading horses off the farm."
Kelli Cruciotti and Zidante winning the five-star Grand Prix qualifier during week seven at WEF. Photo Sportfot
“We lost everything in our tack and feed rooms. At this time we do not know the cause of the fire,” she added.
The devastating blaze comes just four days after Cruciotti qualified for the 2019 FEI World Cup Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden, next month after a top-10 placing at Live Oak in Ocala, Florida, and three weeks after five horses were killed in a fire at the home of German dressage rider Sonke Rothenberger.