Less than a week after an early-morning fire that killed 23 horses at a Lexington farm, the horse industry is coming together to help the trainer who owned the destroyed barn.
The fire Sunday at trainer Eric Reed’s Mercury Equine Center on Russell Cave Road is thought to have been started by lightning or an electrical problem. Employees were able to save 13 horses from the large barn, but in all, Reed said Sunday, the center’s losses would add up to more than $2 million.
In the days since the fire, the “Eric Reed Fund” has been set up to help the Lexington-based trainer and his wife. The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association will match donations made through affiliated organizations up to $10,000, the organization said in a statement Thursday.
The organization’s donations to the fund will go into an account at Horse Cents tack shop in Versailles, according to the statement.
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“Benevolence is the core of what the National HBPA stands for,” organization president Leroy Gessmann said in the statement. “We are first and foremost here to help horsemen. In this instance, Eric Reed and his stable have undergone a severe tragedy, a nightmare for any trainer. We are here to help him, as we know he would do for us.”
Online donations to the organization’s tax-exempt fund can be made at NationalHBPA.com/donate, according to the statement. Checks made out to the National HBPA Foundation with “Eric Reed Fund” written in the memo can be mailed to the National HBPA office at 870 Corporate Drive, Suite 300 in Lexington.
Checks made out to Horse Cents-Eric Reed Fund can also be mailed to or dropped off at Horse Cents at 199 Markham Drive in Versailles. Debit donations can be called in to Horse Cents at 859-873-4707. Donations made to Horse Cents are not tax-deductible.
Donated supplies and tack can be dropped off at Horse Cents or at any of the three Kentucky HBPA offices, according to the statement.
A GoFundMe account set up for Mercury Equine Center also raised more than $25,000.