Puslinch horse barn fire shakes P.E.I. harness driver to the core

The death of 43 horses in an Ontario barn has hit close to home for one Prince Edward Island family.

Anthony MacDonald and his wife worked with Classy Lane Stable owners and the horses

The roof of a horse barn at Classy Lane Stables Training Centre collapsed in a fire that killed over 40 racehorses. (Natalie Kalata/CBC)

The death of 43 horses in an Ontario barn has hit close to home for one Prince Edward Island family.

Anthony MacDonald, a harness racing driver from Charlottetown, now lives just 15 minutes away from Classy Lane Stable in Puslinch, Ont., where the fire struck Monday night.

Both MacDonald and his wife worked with the stable owners and the horses there.

"You tell somebody that a horse burned to death. That's a pretty horrifying thing," said MacDonald.

"These are horses that these people work around anywhere between eight and 15 hours a day. They take care of them in the morning.  They bring them to the races at night.  And they're very personable animals.  So when you see and hear things like that happening, it really shakes you to your core.  It's just a horrible, horrible thing."

People in the harness racing community across North America are rallying to help those who lost everything in the Ontario fire.

The horses and equipment were not insured. MacDonald said any insurance would have been worth only a fraction of the real value of the horses, which could have been in the neighbourhood of $5 million.

As of Thursday morning, more than $91,000 had been donated to a GoFundMe campaign.


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