Officials at the Michigan Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association confirmed that Campbell Stables stallions War Image, Valid Trefaire, and Fire Blitz were among the horses that died in a Southern Michigan barn fire Feb. 21.
The number of horses that perished in the fire is now 27, according to the online news source M Live.
Campbell Stables is owned by longtime Thoroughbred owners Jerry and Lisa Campbell. In 2008, the couple founded the Detroit-area racetrack Pinnacle Race Course, which closed its doors last year due to financial constraints.
Grass Lake Township fire Chief Greg Jones told M Live the afternoon of Feb. 22 that the owner of the farm had originally reported there were 38 horses in the barn, but later realized she had miscounted.
In addition to the stallions, the burned barn also contained all the farm’s yearlings and 2-year-olds, many of which were scheduled to be sold at upcoming sales.
War Image, an 11-year-old winning son of Halo's Image—War Goddess, by War, was a half brother to stakes winner Libby's Halo. Bred in Florida by Arthur Appleton and raced by Equest Racing Stable, War Image had been standing at Campbell Stables since 2007.
Valid Trefaire, a 16-year-old son of Valid Appeal—Contrefaire, by Sham, won the 1999 Gallant Bob Handicap at Philadelphia Park and finished second in that year’s Spectacular Bid Stakes (gr. III) for owner James Lewis Jr.
A half brother to group I winner Wordy, Valid Trefaire sired 10 winners from 26 starters and had progeny earnings of $413,123. He was bred in Florida by Harry Mangurian Jr.
Fire Blitz, a winning son of Storm Cat—Primarily, by Lord at War, was a half brother to four stakes winners: Canadian champions Primaly and Poetically; grade III victor Whiskey Wisdom; and Citronnade, winner of the 2007 Gamely Stakes (gr. I) and four other graded stakes.
Both Fire Blitz and Valid Trefaire had stood at Campbell Stables since 2006.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway, but it could be several days before any conclusions are made, said Grass Lake Township fire Chief Greg Jones.
One farm employee who tried to save the horses was treated for minor burns.