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

Perdue beats Kingston; recount likely in school superintendent race

Businessman David Perdue beat long-time Congressman Jack Kingston in Tuesday's runoff for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The t ... Read More


Church Day shows off rich Coweta history

The churches of Coweta County got their day to share their rich history on the Court Square in downtown Newnan on Saturday. More than 20 chu ... Read More


Senoia’s zombie wall may remain for years

A portion of a Senoia residential development might be a “closed set” for the next several years. On Monday, representatives fro ... Read More


Meat processing center destroyed by flames

A commercial building between the Arnco and Sargent communities in western Coweta County was destroyed by a fire early Monday. Around 4 a.m. ... Read More


Sheriff's employee Ayers in coma

A longtime employee of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office who was diagnosed with a serious disease last year took a turn for the worse ... Read More

‘Window into Past’ tours at Brown’s Mill Saturday

Tickets are available to tour the Battle of Brown’s Mill battlefield Saturday for displays making up “A Window into the Past.&rd ... Read More