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Racetracks raise funds for owner and trainers of horses who died in Langley barn fire

At least 17 horses died when fire destroyed their stable. - Penny Hambrook / Special to The Times
At least 17 horses died when fire destroyed their stable.
— image credit: Penny Hambrook / Special to The Times

Racetracks in B.C. and Ontario are raising money for the owner and trainers of the 17 horses who died in the June 1 fire that completely destroyed a stable near on 224 Street and 40 Avenue.

The campaign was announced on Friday by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, the company that operates the racetracks.

The standardbred horses were trained by Bill Davis and owned by Rick Mowles of J J J Stables competed in harness racing.

“It’s the worst thing that can happen when you’re in the racing industry,” said Chuck Keeling, Great Canadian’s vice-president in charge of stakeholders relations and responsible gaming.

“It is a horrific loss for everyone.”

The horses and equipment lost in the fire were not insured.

Four Great Canadian Gaming racetrack facilities are involved; Fraser Downs Racetrack in Surrey, Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, and the Ontario-based Georgian Downs and Flamboro Downs tracks.

All will be collecting cash donations until Tuesday, June 17.

As well, Fraser Downs and Harness Racing B.C. will co-host a fundraising night at Fraser Downs on Tuesday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception in the Homestretch at Fraser Downs.

The evening will include a silent auction.

Those wishing to contribute to the silent auction should deliver their items to the Fraser Downs reception desk before Sunday, June 15.  For more information contact Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino at 604.576.9141.

The fire that killed 16 standardbred horses and one pony is believed to be one of the worst involving livestock ever recorded in Langley Township.

Investigators suspect the fire may have started in the electrical wiring of  the old wood-frame building.

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