When wildfire spurred by high winds spread to the renowned San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in San Diego County on Thursday, trainers and stable workers rushed to save lives.
The flames quickly spread to the stables and the lodging areas where the stable workers lived. While men and women rushed to free the horses before they were burned alive, their beds and everything else they owned was destroyed.
Fires hit San Luis Rey Downs, a horse racing training facility and stable in Southern California, killing several horses...
The surviving horses were transported to the Del Mar Racetrack where they're recovering from their ordeal. Donations have come flooding in to help pay for the horse's care, and the funds are also going toward the dozens of workers who have nowhere else to go.
Mattress Mack a.k.a Jim Mcingvale shipped over 60 mattresses from his furniture store to the evacuees. The businessman used to own 30 horses at San Luis Rey Downs according to Chron News. His donation was gratefully met by displaced Californians in desperate need of a good night's rest. The first 60 mattresses were shipped over the weekend, and Mcingvale plans to send another 60 on Tuesday.
"I'm a big animal fan. I love race horses, love the grooms who take care of those horses, the least I can do," McIngvale said.
So excited to be BACK in my mattress suit - STILL saving you money on the best value, real Made in America furniture in...
The latest reports out of San Luis Rey put the number of race horses that perished in the fire at 46. Some were caught up in the confusion of escape as herds of frantic horses stampeded through the grounds, and others died in their stalls, unable to be freed because of locks on the stall doors.
"God bless those animals that suffered that horrific fate and all the people of California that suffered that horrific fate. We know what it's like," McIngvale told Click2Houston.
In better local news, Martine Bellocq, a horse trainer from the training facility who suffered severe burns to over 50% of her body, woke from her medically induced coma on Saturday. Doctors still say she's in critical condition, but they're hopeful she'll recover.
The California wildfires have died down, but the Thoroughbred community in Southern California has many weeks of recovery ahead. If you're interested in donating to the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center, a GoFundMe page was set up where 100% of all money raised will go toward the people and horses affected most by the tragedy.
Mattress Mack made world news headlines earlier in the year when he opened his doors to Hurricane Harvey victims in the Houston area and along the Texas coast hit hardest.
What do you think of Mattress Mack's donation? Let us know in the comments.
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