Eight Thoroughbreds died in an early morning May 9 fire at a barn and adjoining annex located on Rice Road in Lexington across from the rear entrance to the Keeneland stable area. As of 8 a.m., fire investigators were on the scene to determine the cause.
The barn and property on which it is located are owned by John Ward, the retired trainer and current executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. The farm is located on the same side of the road but quite a distance from the Keeneland annex training center that is home to trainers such as Charles LoPresti and Rusty Arnold.
Ward said the horses that perished were in the main 50-foot-by-60-foot barn and that two horses housed in the two-stall annex were rescued. Ward said the horses were owned by clients of trainer Gerry Carwood, who has leased the property for about six months.
According to published reports, the fire was spotted shortly after 1 a.m. (EDT) by personnel in the control tower at nearby Bluegrass Airport. Kentucky.com reported that one firefighter suffered a minor injury while at the scene.