Barn Fire Kills Sire of Countess Diana

A Sept. 25 fire at Velocity Farms near Benton, La., killed 12 horses, including Deerhound, sire of champion Countess Diana. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Shanna Berry, who co-owns the farm with Sandi Blackburn, said in addition to Deerhound (Danzig—Lassie Dear, by Buckpasser), the Thoroughbred stallions killed included: Banderas (Seattle Slew—Bandore, by Forty Niner), El Lobo (El Corredor-Justine, by Pirates Bounty), Filmore (Concern— Quality Gal, by Full Pocket), and Wild Wildcat (Forest Wildcat—Pent Up Kiss, by Pentelicus).

The remaining horses that were killed were Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, and Friesians.

“You never think something like this could happen to you,” Berry said. “This is one of the worst things imaginable.”

Berry added that three Thoroughbred stallions, Aggadan (Carnivalay—Georia K, by Horatius), Raska Deputy (French Deputy—Raska, by Rahy), and Tigerline (Unbridled’s Song—Silken Cat, by Storm Cat) were turned out in paddocks at the time of the fire and were not injured.

Countess Diana won the 1997 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr.I) the year she was champion.

A necropsy is planned for Sept. 25 on all the horses that died in the fire.