Thoroughbred trainer Joe Herrick and the horse he saved on the Dec. 7 fire at San Luis Rey Downs are on the long road back to recovery together. Over 450 horses were boarded at San Luis Rey Downs when the terrible fire changed directions and headed straight for them. They didn’t have time to transport the horses to safety. All they could do was get the horses out of their stalls and let them run free and try to find safety.
Forty-seven horses were lost in that fire. Some of the horses would run straight back to their stalls for the security even though the safest thing was to run away from the fires. Trainer Joe Herrick had 8 horses boarded at San Luis Rey Downs. Sadly only 2 survived. One being his filly Lovely Finish who he had raised and trained. “She loved to run” says Herrick. He put her halter on and went to let her out of the stall, just as a fireball came from above hitting him in the back of the head, burning his arms and back. It had also struck Lovely Finish burning part of her body.
Both of them badly burned, were able to get to a safe barn that wasn’t in danger of burning and were able to start addressing their wounds. He got her hosed off and was able to get a vet to start administering meds to help with infection and pain. Never worrying about what pain he was in, his first priority was his filly. Only after getting her transferred to Del Mar and knowing she would be watched overnight, did he then allow himself to be transferred to the local burn unit. The next day Lovely Finish was transported to the local emergency vet where she would go through the healing process just as Herrick was going through his.
Now, together again they spend time scratching each other’s burns and healing from such a tragic fire. He cleans her stall 3 times a day and gets her out to walk twice a day. He even baths her to soothe her burns. And she heals him from the inside! He doesn’t care if she will ever run again she will always be with him. Watch their incredible video below.
Source, SanDiegoUnionTribune. We can’t wait to see this perfect pair make a full recovery. They are both so lucky to have each other. Share this on Facebook if you agree!