35 horses killed at Ga. farm for show horses

by The Associated Press

alt

Walker County Messenger photo by reporter Matt Ledger

ROSSVILLE, Ga. (AP) — State fire officials say 35 horses were killed when a fire swept through their stables and another building at a business that raises show horses in northwest Georgia.

The fire was reported around 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Happy Valley Farms in Rossville, just south of the Georgia-Tennessee line, said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for Georgia's fire marshal.

No people were hurt in the blaze, but the damage was estimated at up to $6 million because of the value of the horses that perished. Allen described them as show horses, and said that some were valued as high as $250,000.

Allen said three buildings -- two stables and a storage facility -- were destroyed in the blaze.

The cause was still under investigation Friday afternoon.

The structure was completely engulfed within 20 minutes, Daniel Jenner, one of the farm's trainers, said in a statement.

"We were able to get one horse out of an end stall on the back side of the barn adjacent to the indoor arena," he said. "It was too hot and smoky to get anywhere near the main barn aisle."

The business is home to an expansive American Saddlebred show horse breeding and training operation, The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported. It "is one of the most widely regarded in the country," Bob Funkhouser, editor of a trade industry publication, told the newspaper.

Owner Marion "Bit" Hutcheson is widely known and respected in the industry, he said.

"Bit dedicated her life to breeding and raising world-class Saddlebreds," Funkhouser said. "The industry has benefited from her passion and commitment, and we all share in her loss."

Rossville is in Walker County, just south of Chattanooga, Tenn.



More Local

Family, friends: Defendant is sleepwalker

Day four of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray for the alleged rape of a woman in Senoia saw his defense team call a DNA expert to the stand T ... Read More


Senoia Council

‘Walking Dead’ fence has to come down

The chain-link fence that has provided secure parking and storage for equipment used in the filming of “The Walking Dead” in dow ... Read More


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Ruth Hill to implement new model

Ruth Hill Elementary School was recently selected as one of 10 schools in Georgia to implement Academic Parent Teacher Teams, a new parent-t ... Read More


With restrictions, Jackson Street open

Traffic was being rerouted on Jackson Street around the University of West Georgia project in downtown Newnan earlier this week, but is now ... Read More


Defense draws judge’s ire in rape case

The trial of a Newnan man indicted for rape continued in Coweta County Superior Court early Monday. Attorneys were able to hear the testimon ... Read More

Rape Trial

Connections, memories part of testimony

Three witnesses were called to testify in Monday afternoon’s session of the trial of Benjamin Tyler Gray, 29, accused of rape after an ... Read More