At 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, September 27, Lauren Elliot awoke to a barn fire at the Royal Equestrian Center in Chesapeake City and immediately called 911 before she and others tried to free the horses trapped inside.

According to The Baltimore Sun, it took 75 firefighters 45 minutes to control the three-alarm blaze, which claimed the life of seven horses and injured one firefighter. The damage is estimated at $1 million, which includes the unsalvageable barn, part of the indoor arena and the value of the seven horses.

Marie Elliot owns the farm, which is run by her granddaughter Lauren Elliot and grandson Jason Elliott. Marie is a long time dressage trainer and Lauren specializes in dressage as well as eventing. Lauren owned three of the horses killed. The other four belonged to boarders.

A memorial “gathering” will take place at the Royal Equestrian Center on Sunday October 4 to pay tribute to the deceased horses. Other activities to raise funds for rebuilding, including an Event Derby run by the St. Augustine Pony Club, will occur throughout the next few months. Please visit the coming events section of our website for details.