A barn collapse at Lindy Farms in Somers, Conn., early Thursday morning killed two horses—trotting stars on the racetrack who both went on to become successful broodmares—but it could have been worse. There were a total of 15 horses in the barn, and no person was injured in the disaster.
Trainer Frank Antonacci told harnessracing.com, "There was literally three feet of snow on top of all the horses; it was just a terrible scene."
Antonacci said the 1992 Merrie Annabelle winner Lady Starlet and one of her daughters, the 1997 Breeders Crown 2-Year-Old Filly Trot winner My Dolly, were killed when the barn collapsed under the weight of overnight snow on the roof. Antonacci said the v-shaped barn has 20 stalls on each side and that 11 horses were on the side that didn’t collapse.
Antonacci said the world-champion mare Moni Maker was also in the barn and was trapped in her stall under the weight of the snow, but she was freed by rescue workers. Antonacci is currently winter training in Florida and he said reports he received from the farm stated Moni Maker appears to have sustained no major injuries. He said a fourth horse, Gladiator Lindy, freed himself and actually stayed in the barn right outside the stall of Moni Maker.
“He made his way over to Moni Maker’s stall and was sitting there waiting with his muzzle down in the rubble down by her,” said Antonacci of Gladiator Lindy. “It was just a heavy, wet snow that fell from 10:30 last night to 4 o’clock this morning, and nothing was getting blown off the roofs.”
Somers is located 25 miles northeast of Hartford. The area is already reported to have had 59 inches of snow this month, with more than a foot falling overnight from what was called Winter Storm Denis.
The 21-year-old Lady Starlet has a 2-year-old mark of 1:59.2 and earnings of $251,112, while the 16-year-old My Dolly—the granddam of the 2010 Peter Haughton Memorial winner The Lindy Reserve—had a 4-year-old mark of 1:54.3 and earnings of $576,059. Antonacci said both Lady Starlet and My Dolly were bred last year to Crazed, but with both being embryo transfers, the two mares will have foals in 2011.
As for the two-time Horse of the Year (1998-99) Moni Maker, Antonacci said, “She needed to be freed. She was a tough horse on the racetrack and she is going to have to be tougher now. "
In a posting on the Lindy Farms’ Facebook page, Antonacci wrote: “All of the horses at our farm are loved and none more so than the three mares that were trapped in this disaster this morning. They were the cornerstones of Lindy Farms and matriarchs to many of our top families. To have these mares endure this disaster is heartbreaking and we will all shed a tear for Lady Starlet and My Dolly. Lady Starlet and My Dolly were both champions on the racetrack and the breeding shed and will be missed greatly.
"Thankfully no people were injured in the collapse. We send great thanks to everyone involved in the rescue effort."
Antonacci said Lady Starlet and My Dolly will be buried at the farm.
To view a video report on the WFSB television station website, please click here.