A 50-year-old barn caught fire early Saturday afternoon at the Gulfstream Polo Club, considered the oldest polo club in Florida. Ten stalls caught on fire at the Lake Worth Road structure which took Palm Beach County firefighters 45 minutes to get under control.
Ten horses have been confirmed dead. Their identities have not been revealed, however most polo horses are very expensive, and many are worth over $50,000.
"Polo players and their grooms develop strong relationships with their horses and as can only be imagined, must be devastated by today's tragedy," stated Margoria Gonzalez, a groom for polo horses in the Wellington area.
According to the Palm Beach Post, fire officials are looking into the cause of the fire, but there was no sprinkler system in the all wood barn. Couple that with wood shavings and hay, a stray cigarette could have easily ignited a tragic fire.
“Not one inch of the barn was not totally engulfed in flames when I got there. The flames were 10 feet above the roof,” said Randy Aversano, the club’s president, who was there Saturday morning for an annual stockholders meeting.
Four other horses were injured and have been taken to a veterinarian hospital for treatment.
No humans were injured.
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