S. Florida Trotting Center fire fund distributed
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Florida Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association (FSBOA) president Joe Pennacchio told The Horseman Thursday afternoon that all funds collected in the aftermath of the March 16 barn fire at South Florida Trotting Center that killed 13 horses have been distributed. Pennacchio said the funds, which included donations from a GoFundMe page, fundraisers and from the FSBOA, Meadowlands and the U.S. Trotting Association, totaled approximately $75,000.
Pennacchio said the money was appropriated to trainers Roman Lopez and Tom Haughton, five caretakers, and owners of the horses. Twelve horses died during the blaze that was ruled accidental while another perished a few days later. Several others were rescued and treated at local veterinary hospital.
Pennacchio said he and three other FSBOA directors comprised the committee that determined the payments to the fire victims. They were joined by Ann Mari Daley, the farm manager at South Florida Trotting Center.
"We took care of the two trainers first and the grooms right away, and then among the owners we divided it equally from the horses that were affected," said Pennacchio. "I was really happy we were able to take care of the five grooms. Within two days I received a beautiful thank-you note in the mail signed by them and thanking us for helping them out."