Oak Canyon Equestrian Center in California catches fire, killing horses

Oak Canyon Equestrian Center, a stable in Santa Clarita, California, is mourning the deaths of two of its horses after an electrical fire devastated its building last week.

Twenty-foot flames ripped through the area where the horses were kept, killing Malone, a palomino quarter horse, and Rocky, a black thoroughbred, according to a GoFundMe campaign created by the equestrian center located in the Newhall community of Santa Clarita.

The fire on January 17 also injured three other horses, who are receiving medical treatment.

“Today was brutal. It was the first time in 30 years that I didn’t want to go to the barn,” co-owner Carrie Treadway wrote in a Facebook post the day after the incident.

Carrie co-owns the business with her mother, according to The signal.

She explained in a separate Facebook post that the fire started around 4 a.m. in the tack room of the stable. Her neighbor Sean found him during an early commute to work and woke up Treadway’s parents to try to save the horses.

“They managed to empty the barn in less than 10 minutes and the fire department was there shortly after and quickly put out the fire,” Carrie wrote.

It was too late to save World Series ropes champion Malone and Rocky, who were closest to where the fire started, he said.

“This will haunt me for the rest of my life and I’m so sorry I couldn’t get to you fast enough,” she wrote while reminiscing about Malone and Rocky in the post. “Take a piece of my heart to heaven with you. We love you guys so much. My heart aches for their owners and I continue to pray for comfort for them about anything right now.”

The Oak Canyon Equestrian Center remembered Malone on its GoFundMe page as “an invaluable teammate to his owner.”

Malone was known as “Little Melons” and was a “‘good horse’ with a heart of gold and the fluffiest ears who taught so many young riders how to lasso,” according to the fundraising page.

Rocky “was a beautiful black thoroughbred who left behind his best friend, Tykes, and owners John and Stephanie Blair,” the center shared.

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According to the stable’s fundraising campaign, all donations “will go toward repairing damage to the stable structure, paying vet bills for injured horses, purchasing new tack and supplies for the stable, and making what we can to fill in the holes that were left” by the horses.

The fire also led to the loss of “expensive equipment, essential supplies and personal belongings” which included items belonging to young riders and longtime members of the barn community, according to GoFundMe.

“In addition, a large part of the stable structure was destroyed and needs to be rebuilt to ensure it is safe for the remaining horses to live in,” they said.

Over $32,000 of the $100,000 goal had been raised as of Wednesday night.

“This is a family of barns and a community affected by the most unimaginable tragedy that now needs to rebuild, recover and remember those lost,” GoFundMe states. “We appreciate any help you can give us so that Oak Canyon can continue to be a welcoming place where riders of all ages and abilities can fulfill their equestrian dreams, and a safe home for the horses we all love and raise.”