BONSALL (CBSLA) — A GoFundMe page has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the care of horses injured Thursday in the devastating Lilac Fire which swept through northern San Diego County.
As of Saturday morning, the page already has pledges of $466,000, well over the $400,000 goal. Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, the Stronach Group and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Park were organizing the fund.
The San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall was quickly overrun with flames Thursday. The training center catered to about 500 thoroughbred race horses. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that at least 35 of the horses were killed in the blaze.
The California Horse Racing Board said individuals at San Luis Rey risked their lives by trying to free the horses from their stalls and herd them into the safer infield area and training track.
“The many affected horses and humans are in dire need of support,” the page reads. “The industry has come together at an unprecedented rate during this heartbreaking situation and we turn to the community once again to request help where it is urgently needed.”
The Arcadia racetrack has also launched a drive for clothing and supplies for dozens of stable workers who were forced to flee from the fire. Donations can be dropped off at the stable gate, with daily trips expected to be made to Del Mar to drop off supplies, according to a tweet from Santa Anita.
Many of the horses evacuated from San Luis Rey were taken 35 miles to the Del Mar racetrack, where they were being housed and cared for by racetrack personnel and a team of volunteers.
Supplies including blankets, lead ropes and halters, feed, shavings, hooks and clips and muck buckets were needed for the horses, and clothing, gloves, toiletries, air mattresses and blankets and bedding were needed for workers, according to an online posting from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Meanwhile, workers and volunteers at Del Mar and nearby ranches that had taken in horses from San Luis Rey were still working to identify some of the equines as some continued to search for missing horses and others made grim discoveries.
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