04/11/2011 3:16PM

Sipp farmhouse burns down


A farmhouse belonging to Thoroughbred trainer Burton K. Sipp and his wife, Bridget, was destroyed by fire on Monday morning, according to local reports from Springfield, N.J., where the farmhouse was located.

The farmhouse was located approximately 300 yards from a facility owned and operated by the Sipps, the Animal Kingdom Pet Store and Zoo. According to local reports, no animals at the zoo or the store, or any of the horses pasturing in adjacent fields, were hurt in the fire. Burton Sipp was apparently in Arizona at the time of the fire, according to reports.

Sipp has started 155 horses this year, winning nine races and earning total purses of $110,454, according to Equibase figures. On Sunday, horses he trained finished second and third in separate races at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Ariz., and another horse finished second in a race at Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia.

Sipp was banned from racing in 1984 when he entered into a plea-bargain agreement with New Jersey prosecutors after being indicted on charges of fraud related to accusations that he had killed horses for insurance reasons. Under the plea bargain, Sipp was charged with one count of witness tampering, although he has consistently maintained his innocence in the case.

In 1993, Sipp was awarded a racing license in Pennsylvania, and he has since been relicensed in a number of racing jurisdictions. Though he did not train from 1995 to 2003, he has started more than 400 horses in every year since 2004.