Four horses from barn fire released

Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 18, 2016

The owner of the South Florida Trotting Center wants to help the horses that survived a barn fire Tuesday night.

The fire killed 12 horses. Eleven others survived. Four of them  belong to Sam Stathis, the farm's owner, and he's offering to buy or pay the medical bills of the other seven, who have different owners, to ensure that none are euthanized.

"I'm betting they're going to live," he says. "I'm going to do everything possible to allow them to live."

Stathis says many times, when horses are severely injured, they're seen as no longer valuable and are put down. But the long-time horse trainer says the injured horses could still have breeding potential, because of their pedigree, and he feels some could even race again.

"Are they going to be world champion race horses? It doesn't matter," he says. "Because this race is about just racing. It ain't about where you finish."

Stathis's four horses suffered the least of the injuries. He was able to pick them up from the hospital and take them back to their stables Friday afternoon.