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Four horses from SFTC barn fire released from hospital
Saturday, March 19, 2016 - by Steve Wolf for Stathis Enterprises

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Lake Worth, FL – Four of the horses rescued from the devastating barn fire at the South Florida Trotting Center have returned home.

Heather Vitale photo
Sam Stathis, owner of South Florida Trotting Center, with his horse, Celebrity Artemis, who survived the fire.

Celebrity Lover, Celebrity Tsipras, Celebrity Artemis and Celebrity Lambo were all released from Reid & Associates Equine Hospital late Friday afternoon (March 18). All four of the horses suffered burns on their backs and some on their necks and rumps.

Seven of the injured horses remained at the hospital in Loxahatchee and it was not clear when they would be released.

As the returning horses were removed from their trailer, all had visible burn injuries.

Each will need to be monitored over the next several weeks for upper respiratory and lung issues, and the horses may require hyperbaric oxygen treatments, said Sam Stathis, owner of the four horses and the owner of the South Florida Trotting Center.

“They’re not in extreme danger, but (there’s) caution that they’re not out of the woods with the respiratory issues,” he said. “They need 24-hour-a-day care. We thought it better that they live on the farm and we hand-walk them so they don’t get psychological issues. They’ve been through enough.”

Stathis said veterinarians will come to the center each day, to tend to the recovering animals.

Stathis lost one of his own horses, but had four survive. He said he's taking responsibility for all horses in the barn that burned.

“I’m ecstatic that the first four horses have returned to the farm,” Stathis said. “And we are doing everything possible to ensure that the remaining seven will come home, too. I can’t wait for that day to come.”

A horse racing online radio program, Post Time with Mike and Mike, has set up a GoFund Me account to help the horsemen and the training center. The group will split all funds raised through the site between trainers Roman Lopez and Thomas Haughton to help offset the cost of damages because of the fire.

Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can go to or by visiting

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