BONSALL, Ca. (WKYT) - San Luis Ray Downs, located in Bonsall, California was right in the path of the massive Lilac Fire that grew from 50 acres to over 4,000 in a matter of hours. 24-hours ago a horse owner at the barn didn't know if she would ever see her horses Felix and Howie ever again.
"It's hard horrible it was an inferno at where my horses are thank god rescued", stated Susan Dube, horse owner.
Felix and Howie were among hundreds of horses evacuated due to the fires that damaged the San Luis Ray Downs training facility. A cell phone video shot during the evacuation showed the horses running away from the flames that overtook the facility as workers tried to free as many as they could.
Hundreds of volunteers showed up after the fire bringing the horses apples, carrots, and lots of loves. A GoFundMe account was also set up soon after the fire. In less than 24-hours people had donated nearly $50,000 to help cover expenses related to fire damage, equine medical care, and more. A Lexington native in the thoroughbred industry explains how the community always comes together to help in times of need.
"No matter where you would find horses that are affected and devastated and tragic circumstances, like the one we see that has happened here of recent, you tend to find a pretty big grounds full of support for this industry to come together to help", explained Stuart Brown, part owner of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute.
Once conditions were safe around San Luis Ray Downs, many of the horses were then transported to the Del Mar Racetrack.