09/11/2017 12:48PM

Fasig-Tipton opens barns to Ocala-bound auction horses

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The potential for devastation has loomed over the entire state of Florida as Hurricane Irma worked its way north, and over the state’s central region, which is the hub of Florida’s training and breeding activity.

To help Florida-based buyers manage uncertainties following the storm, Fasig-Tipton has opened four of its Lexington, Ky., barns to horses bound for Ocala, Fla., who were purchased on Sunday at its Turf Showcase as well as at the coming week’s Keeneland September yearling sale.

“It’s the right thing to do, plain and simple,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “We’ve got men and women whose horses are at risk, their farms are at risk. We want to do whatever we can to facilitate the marketplace this week.

“We have an obligation to work together and pitch in when difficult conditions present themselves, and the right thing to do is we have some empty stalls. We’ve had some people say they didn’t know if they were going to buy horses if they couldn’t get them to Ocala. We had a simple solution in place for that.”

Horsemen looking to take advantage of the stabling should contact their shipping companies to make arrangements.

Browning said he did not have an estimate on how many horses would fill the stalls in the coming days, noting the number would depend on the activity of buyers from the region and how many in that group would elect to use the barns.

“I don’t think anybody knows the extent of what Irma is going to do, but we’ll make every effort to be as accommodating to the industry participants as we can over the next week and hope the damage there is less than expected,” he said.

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