California Fires Bring Our the Best In the Horse Community

Guenter Seidel and his entourage safe at The Del Mar Showgrounds. L-R Sarah Christy, Guenter's assistant, Korie Hanseth, Christine Traurig's groom, Ayden Uhlir, and Guenter Seidel. Photo: Sheryl Ross
Guenter Seidel and his entourage safe at The Del Mar Showgrounds. L-R Sarah Christy, Guenter's assistant, Korie Hanseth, Christine Traurig's groom, Ayden Uhlir, and Guenter Seidel. Photo: Sheryl Ross

Just like horse owners on the eastern seaboard, evacuation procedures are part of the plan when living and riding in the California region affected by dry conditions and the Santa Ana winds. And, just like in most regions where help is needed, it comes as the equestrian community is no stranger to hard work, long days and sometime nights, and doing all they can to protect their beloved animals. Homes and farms that are threatened are secondary to the concern of those whose first move is to get their horses and dogs to a safe place. Steffen and Shannon Peters have been there before. In 2007 they moved horses to the Del Mar Race track, and did a repeat with over 65 horse joined by staff, friends, and other trainers. The Show Park filled up within and hour with additional evacuees from the region being routed to Del Mar. "The people at Del Mar were super" Sheryl Ross told DressageDaily. "Home Depot was awesome.They showed up with cases of water, water buckets for horses and hoses and drove around handing everything out!" Grand Prix dressage riders Christine Traurig and Guenter Seidel had also evacuated their horses from Albert Court in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif to Del Mar.

Barn area at Del Mar Photo: Sheryl Ross
Barn area at Del Mar Photo: Sheryl Ross

"The outpouring of help and concern for us having to evacuate has been above and beyond imagination." said Shannon Peters after evacuating the horses. She remained at home with her husband Olympian Steffen Peters "as long as we can." Fighting the fire with help from staff watering down the property to fight off embers drifting their way from the fire closing in. "We are truly blessed to have the friends and barn family that we have- too many to name, but THANK YOU from all of us".

Fire in the valley photo:Korie Hanseth
Fire in the valley photo:Korie Hanseth

Tish Quirk well known breeder, evacuated 40 horses 5 new foals, 6 stallions and 2 pregnant mares. Ross who is with the group at Del Mar, just reported the current status: "The wind has picked up. Some people are able to walk their horses some not. It's 94 already with strong Santa Ana winds. "Fires are spreading in multiple places. Carlsbad 15k people evacuated. The fire near Albert Court Fairbanks is only 25% contained. We'll be here till tomorrow for sure."




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