Updated on 09/16/2011 7:47AM

Eight horses killed in Evangeline fire


LAFAYETTE, La. - A barn fire on the Evangeline Downs backside early Thursday morning resulted in the death of eight horses. No human injuries were reported.

According to Evangeline Downs officials, the fire broke out at about 3 a.m. in Barn Q, which houses approximately 25 horses. Trainers Bill Stice and Donald Moran each lost three horses to the blaze; the Gerald Lanerie-trained veteran claimer Here Come Da Judge was killed, and Ray Schexnider lost one horse.

The Carencro, La., Fire Department prevented the fire from spreading to any other barns. Backstretch employee Joe Dugas managed to save several horses by getting them out of the barn.

The fire was still under investigation Thursday afternoon, with the cause still to be determined.

"We are pleased with the way our staff reacted. They did everything they were expected to," said vice president Charles Ashey Jr. "While we are saddened by this tragedy, it could have been far worse."

Evangeline Downs will hold an 82-day meet from April 13 through Sept. 2 this year and operates as a training center the remainder of the year. The most well-known horse stabled at Evangeline Downs is Hallowed Dreams, a winner of 25 of 28 starts, who is scheduled to run Saturday at Fair Grounds for trainer Lloyd Romero, whose barn was not damaged by the fire.