Fire at San Luis Rey!?

Catalina
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:52 am

I am so very sorry about your cat, Ridan_Remembered. One feels so helpless when a gentle goodbye is all that medicine can offer. It hurts so badly to lose them even so.

My prayers are with all that lived through the nightmare of the SLR fire.
BaroqueAgain1
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:10 pm

So sorry, RR. I've lived long enough to have had a few generations of cat friends, so I know how much it hurts to lose one.
I know that we are designed to live longer than our four-legged friends but, no matter how many well-loved years I can give them, it never feels like enough...when that time comes. :cry:
For the people who went through the SLR fire, and who lost horses, that pain is going to last a long, long time. I hope some of those donations are going to counseling for the workers who fought so hard for their charges, but who couldn't save them all.
That tragic event is going cast a shadow over California racing for some time.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:50 pm

@Catalina and BaroqueAgain1, thank you both for your kindness. Means a lot to me.
shenanigans
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:58 pm

Ridan Remembered: in the grand scheme of things, your cat was your friend, part of your family, someone who helped make you the person you are. I am so very sorry about all the horses lost in the Lilac fire, but I am also sorry for your loss as well. Three years ago we had to have our cat euthanized, and while it was the right thing to do, that doesn't mean it didn't hurt or that I don't miss her to this day. My deepest condolences.
Squally
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:54 pm

Add me to the list of people who don't ever think there is any such thing as "Just a cat". So very sorry for your loss. They are family. They are our hearts.
sweettalk
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:40 pm

anyone who ever says "it was just a cat/dog/horse/hamster/any pet", they must be very miserable people. i hope they find happiness somewhere.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:49 pm

Thank you Shenanigans and Squally. I'm so glad to find people here who understand. I did not mean to hijack this thread with the news about my cat, but only meant to highlight the greater tragedy of the SLR fire that took so much from so many, equine and human alike. To me, it's an important perspective, yet because my Kitty died literally two days after the fire, both events are forever associated now to me.

My little cat -- and she was little, only between 8 and 9 pounds -- was in a litter of newborn kittens that I rescued in May 2006. They had been tossed in a dumpster. Vet said they were only 3 days old, cold, hungry and infested with fleas. I hand raised them, found homes for all of them and kept the smallest one. She used to follow me around like a puppy. Slept on my bed every night. Came when called. Mooched treats and just generally loved me in her own cat way. So thank you all for understanding -- both the larger perspective of the fire and my personal perspective of Kitty's loss.

Some good out of hearbreak: Here is a photo from a Team Valor tweet (https://twitter.com/TeamValor/status/94 ... 49536?s=04) of members of Pete Miller's staff who saved so many horses. Team Valor has distributed over $25,00 to them.

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serenassong
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:18 pm

So sorry for your loss, RR. I have sent way too many over the Bridge. With the exception of one, all were shelter/abandoned cats.
In June- on my dog's birthday of all things- I lost one of my cats very suddenly. She threw what they call a saddle clot and there was nothing that could be done but to let her be released from pain. It was traumatic- but I did find some comfort in the fact that she displayed symptoms as I was getting ready for work that day- so she was only in pain for less than 2 hours- which, is still a lot, but better than finding her after work hours later like that. She was just under 10- I had one that died at 6- but she was born with cardiac issues and cancer complicated matters. All my others lived late teens, early 20's
It never get easy- you just accept it over time

I got into a heated argument with someone who told me that animals had no souls and their was no place in Heaven for them. How heartless they were and obviously never knew the love of a pet.

Take care and morn in your way- only you know what's appropriate- each case is different
"I reject your reality, and substitute my own!"- Mythbusters
"Oh, What fresh Hell is this?!"- Sheldon Cooper(quoted from Dorothy Parker)- Big Bang Theory
"Sometimes I think he's the King of Stupid" - Old Man- Pawn Stars
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Starine
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:29 pm

I am also sorry for your loss, RR. Losing a pet is never easy; they truly are a part of your family. I hope in time you will be able to welcome another four-legged friend into your heart.
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Sparrow Castle
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Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:25 pm

Oh very sorry, Ridan. Most of my pets died naturally at ripe old ages, some in their sleep. I was unprepared about a year and a half ago when I had to make the big Decision for my 16 year old Bengal cat, who was suffering kidney disease and not tolerant of the treatment. She also was tiny, the runt of litter that I rescued from the breeder, and she was the cat-love of my life. I still miss her, it's so hard to lose such a special friend. But her funny antics and the happy memories she left now make me smile. Even knowing the sad ending, I bet we would do it again in a heartbeat.
RuffiantoRags
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Thu Dec 28, 2017 8:47 am

Just learned my friend had to put down her 32 year old Appy just before Christmas. Wow, you say, yeah, she did everything for this horse, and he was
in good condition for his age. Kudos to her though, not too many horses get up there in age. RIP Chance.
stark
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Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:25 pm

Tim Ritvo of The Stronach Group, parent company of San Luis Rey Downs, said Sunday the training center could reopen Feb. 1 for limited training for 200 horses with the goal of having temporary stabling completed April 1 to replace barns destroyed in Dec. 7 wildfire.
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
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Sparrow Castle
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Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:59 pm

Martine Bellocq Faces Lengthy Recovery from Burns
Martine Bellocq still has a long way to go.

The trainer who went into a burning barn Dec. 7 at San Luis Rey Training Center in an attempt to rescue a prized young colt has third degree burns on 60% of her body, and although she has made some progress, the challenges ahead are substantial, according to her husband, Pierre Bellocq Jr.


"She's stable, but she has had some complications that usually show up after these kinds of burns," Pierre said of his wife, who was air-lifted from San Luis Rey to UC San Diego Medical Center, Hillcrest in the moments after the fire. She's still at Hillcrest as of Jan. 10. "That has slowed her recovery considerably right now. We just have to be patient with it."

Pierre said Wednesday that while her medically induced coma ended relatively quickly after the fire, Martine is still under significant sedation, which doesn't allow her to talk. Pierre hopes as her medical procedures continue, the outlook for his wife will improve.

"As soon as they finish the skin grafts and all that, she may pick up some momentum," Pierre said. "The biggest struggle is, she's still not able to talk to us, and it's a little bit scary, because physically she looks pretty much like she did on day one after the fire. ... She's not conscious enough to speak and she's still on a respirator most of the time and there are tubes everywhere, but she can hear us. We're going to keep talking to her and encouraging her.

"Every day it keeps reminding you of what happened, and that's the hard part for me, anyway."

Pierre's recollections from that Dec. 7 afternoon are as just as vivid as if they occurred yesterday, and have the echoes of other accounts of the terror at San Luis Rey.

Martine and Pierre, who work together training horses under Martine's name, got separated for a while as small fires popped up around the training facility. Pierre was out helping the facility's staff and other trainers to try to put out spot fires on the hills surrounding San Luis Rey, while Martine stayed at the barn with their string of six horses. Martine was hosing down the barn, as well as the horses in the stalls, to try to keep everything as moist as possible.

"At one point it looked as though we were going to be OK," Pierre recalled. "Fire trucks arrived and they put out most of the surrounding fires. But when the palm trees ignited, I knew that would be a disaster. Within minutes, it was all over."

Pierre got back to the barn and quickly grabbed a horse to try to get it onto a trailer, so it could get out of the facility. What he returned to was beyond horrifying.

Martine had high hopes for Wild Bill Hickory, a 2-year-old Many Rivers colt she bred with Margaret Sherr. When the fire got into the barns, Wild Bill Hickory was trapped inside, so Martine went into the blaze to save the unraced chestnut.

"He wasn't a fashionably bred horse, but he was a gorgeous specimen—perfect confirmation, such a nice individual," Pierre said.

But Martine's heroic efforts weren't enough to save the colt. Wild Bill Hickory died from the burns he sustained, and Martine was also severely burned. By the time Pierre got back to the barn he found Martine slumped on the ground and burned, but still crying out for her beloved colt.

If not for the actions taken by fellow trainer Manuel Calvario, it may have been worse for Martine. Calvario, who was the Bellocqs neighbor in the barn at San Luis Rey, saw Martine engulfed in the fire and snuffed out the flames with a blanket.

"He probably saved her life," Pierre said.

With Martine still hospitalized, Pierre has to care for the four horses they still have. Much of his time is spent beside his wife, but during morning training hours, he tends to the quartet at Del Mar.

He has mixed feelings as to whether the slight escape helps him cope with what happened.

"Does it help? Yes and no," Pierre said. "To have some kind of routine in the morning—something else to do other than go back in my mind to the fire and the situation—it is good to have a little bit of a change of pace. It occupies your mind too for a few hours, and then it's back to dealing with Martine and the fire."

One of those four trained by the Bellocqs will make her first start since the San Luis Rey fire Jan. 11 at Santa Anita Park. Eye of the River will be the first starter in Martine's name since that terrible day in December.

The 4-year-old Many Rivers filly, also bred by Martine and Sherr, has had an uninspiring career at the races (she's yet to hit the board in six starts and will be offered for a $20,000 claiming tag in the one-mile dirt race), but will have a unique opportunity to transcend her résumé Thursday.
More: https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing ... from-burns
Catalina
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:12 am

That goes beyond horrific. Keeping her and her husband in my prayers.
BaroqueAgain1
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Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:08 pm

The Martine Bellocq-trained mare Eye of the River outran her high odds to finish a good second in the 2nd at Santa Anita. I hope this nice run from one of the Bellocq stable's SLR survivors provides a lift for those folks, who really deserve some luck.
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Starine
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Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:06 am

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:The Martine Bellocq-trained mare Eye of the River outran her high odds to finish a good second in the 2nd at Santa Anita. I hope this nice run from one of the Bellocq stable's SLR survivors provides a lift for those folks, who really deserve some luck.
That's nice to hear. Wishing the best for Martine.
stark
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Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:56 pm

Burned trainer Herrick, horse travel fire-recovery road together

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/spo ... ce=twitter
I've found it easier to tear up tickets at 8/1 instead of 8/5.
Catalina
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Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:20 pm

The temperature of such a fire, and the speed with which it produces such damage, are just unimaginable.
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Ridan_Remembered
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Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:20 pm

stark wrote:Burned trainer Herrick, horse travel fire-recovery road together

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/spo ... ce=twitter
I didn't see anything in the article that says where to donate to help Mr. Herrick and his filly. If anyone knows where I can mail a check to him, please let me know via PM. Thanks.
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Sparrow Castle
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Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:21 pm

Amy Zimmerman @NeverSettleTV
2h2 hours ago
A month ago, he was lost in the fire's smoke. We know where Conquest Tsunami is today -- in the @santaanitapark winner's circle after race 9. "Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of broken dreams."
http://www.equibase.com/static/chart/pd ... 18USA9.pdf

SA Press Box‏ @SAPublicity
Conquest Tsunami and Tyler Baze close out the Saturday card @santaanitapark. (Order - #6,5,7,1,4)
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