Boyd Martin Thanks Everyone For Support After Barn Fire at True Prospect Farm

Many thanks to the person who sent this photo composition of the
six horses lost in the barn fire at True Prospect Farm.

I just got off the phone with Boyd, who sounds about as exhausted and overwhelmed as anyone possibly could after enduring the worst imaginable ordeal over the past couple of days and nights. Even though he is in the middle of a crisis and still very concerned with the welfare of the surviving horses, he wanted to take the time to acknowledge the huge outpouring of support from people around the world. – AMH.

This is probably the hardest blog entry that I’ll ever have to do. To be quite frank, I really don’t feel like writing it but I feel that I need to say something because of the amount of support that I’ve had through so many friends around the world with text messages, emails and phone calls in the last 24 hours. The support has given me a new burst of life to push on and continue and I feel I owe these people this update.

You probably heard that I endured the most tragic event that I’ve ever experienced in my life. The fire in the upper barn at True Prospect Farm has not only shattered my life but it’s also devastated many people involved in the facility, including the owners Phillip and Evie Dutton, the residents Caitlin and Woodsy, and all of the people who had a sleepless night Monday evening struggling to salvage and save what we could.

In all honesty my heart goes out to the devastated owners who received a phone call from me at 6:00 yesterday morning telling them that their horses were lost. Calling Anne, Abbie, Bonnie, Faye, Ron and Densey was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life.

The five surviving horses that were in the barn, I believe will all live. Neville, Min and Hoku, (Catch a Star) are all in the intensive care unit at New Bolton Center. Otis and Rose are in stable condition in the general section of the hospital. All five of them are receiving 24-hour fluids and Neville, who looks to have the worst case of smoke inhalation, has two oxygen tubes in, assisting his breathing 24 hours a day. Min also suffered smoke inhalation while Hoku has got the worst burns, which cover a great deal of her body.

This tragic event has brought the community that we live in even closer. It’s an amazing feeling having so many people willing to help and assist you when you experience this kind of misfortune. I am also absolutely taken away by the bravery of our staff. Sara, Caitlin, Lillian and Ash, Randall and Devon not only showed bravery and heroism but they are showing resilience by continuing and pressing on in their lives despite the tragedy.

I will forever be grateful for the way Phillip and Evie Dutton have treated us through the horrifying event of watching a structure burn to the ground on a farm they own. I’ll always be indebted to Phillip, who assisted me in dragging out Neville when the inferno was raging hot and we ignored the orders of the fire chief to not go in to the barn. I’m also indebted to Woodsy, Caitlin and Lillian who raised the alarm and freed the bulk of the surviving horses from the blazing barn.

We relocated the majority of the horses in our training program to the Delaware Equine Center, which is next door to Phillip and Evie’s. We will continue training out of the facilities at True Prospect Farm.

I’m sure this event will forever haunt me and the people who were involved. I think there be many more tears and more healing and it is going to take a long time to get over the experience but I really feel that life must go on.

I wish to thank everyone who has sent an email or a text message, sponsors who have donated tack and supplies and those who have contributed to the various funds that have been set up. Your support has lifted our spirits in this very dark time.


See all blog posts.


  1. I am so sorry to hear of your loss……it is tragic to even consider from a distance….

  2. Libby Garner says

    Bless you cuz.. we’re all here for you and Silva. Why am I not surprised you and Philip ignored the fire chief and went back for So glad you did. Hang in there.. you’re from good stock and an Aussie. You’ll get through this. (hugs)

  3. Boyd

    What has happened to your and your team is possibly the worst possible circumstances that could occur to any horse lover. Your courage in the face if the fire to save Neville is extraordinary and I know that heroism was displayed by many others on that night.

    Your friends and supporters from across the globe will be here whenever you need a shoulder to lean on or a leg up at any time.

    Good luck and please do not be shy to ask for help when you need it, there will be a bunch of us readynto step up and help.

    John Lechner

  4. Fran Doos says

    My heart goes out to you. No one can possibly know what you and all those involved have been through;in a tremendous effort to save the horses. No one can begin to feel your pain. Just know that my heart goes out to you during such a difficult time. Those of us that are horse owners love our horses so very much. They take a part of our hearts without fail, and we sacrifice our needs for the needs of our horses. You and all those involved are in my thoughts and prayers. I will be donating as well as many of my friends. I know nothing will ever erase what occurred, but you will move forward. You will be in a better place in time. Hugs to all of you and the horses currently in the hospital. All of you made a tremendous effort and you all showed tremendous courage.

  5. Boyd,
    There will be a special place in heaven for Phillip & you for what you did for Neville. I know right now you feel like you should have done more, but that’s the way it always feels; trust me. I’m sure you did everything that could have been done.

  6. Boyd and Silva,
    we are so sorry to hear about this devastating news.
    Our thoughts are with you and Silva your staff and owners. We are both thinking of you.
    Donna Smith and Simone Kann

  7. Jon Holling says

    Boyd, I don’t have your number, but wanted to be sure to say how sorry Jenn and I are for your loss. I can only imagine the feelings you are all going through. When Jenn and I sat down for dinner last night we commented on how the numbness of the day was probably wearing off for you. We are thinking of you all and hope to see you soon.

  8. Such a tragedy, and yet it is enlightening and heartfelt to see the push to heal the survivors and try to move through. I’m sure you will forever remember the spirit of the lost, but I wish them God speed and for you to find solace after such a loss.

  9. John and Susan Sheets says

    Your blog gives us all a view of your strength and your love of the animals and our sport. I wish we could do more from afar, but rest assured our thoughts and our prayers are with you and your friends, the owners and theirs, and of course with the beautiful animals we all know and love.


  10. Anonymous says

    My heart aches for all of you. My dressage mare, Suki was burned over 70% of her body in a barn fire two years ago, and treated at New Bolton. Today she is happy and healthy. It sounds like Hoku’s injuries may be similar. Please contact me if you need moral support….I have been through it…. you are not alone!
    Prayers to you.

  11. Kathie Franco says

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all durng this horrible time. God speed to the horses that were lost and prayers for those recovering at New Bolton. May the love and support of those who care help you know you are not alone.

  12. Tori Rosenblatt says

    I know this must have been the last thing you wanted to do, write this post. Really, there is no need to thank us for the support, its what we do as a community, we stick together and when one of our own is down we group around them and help them carry on. We are all here for any support you need. My heart goes out to you, Silva, Phillip, Evie, all the owners, and of course the recovering horses. Stay strong.

  13. Foy Barksdale says

    Words cannot express how sorry I am for you, the owners, Ryan, Caitlin, Lillian, Phillip, Evie, and all the others touched by this horrific tragedy. You are all heros and this has consumed my every thought since I heard about this. Hugs to you all and prayers are with you.

  14. Anonymous says

    THANKS Boyd for updating us. You shouldn’t have to spend your time and energy to blog however we do much appreciate the info. Tears, thoughts and worries are with you and everyone involved. pam Chauvin

  15. Anonymous says

    Boyd- I have only met you in passing numerous times, but what most impresses me is how your horses look to you. While you might miss on a dressage test, or distance, they would do anything for you- as you did for them. “God be with you till we meet again;
    When life’s perils thick confound you;
    Put His arms unfailing round you;
    God be with you till we meet again.”
    Horses are in heaven, they leave hoof prints in our hearts, and our prayers are with you all-HRPC family

  16. Boyd – our hearts ache for the losses you and your barn have endured. However, you will and can rebuild with the ones who have survived. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know! RYE FOX WEST

  17. Anonymous says

    God Bless all of You

  18. Many of us out here on the West Coast are thinking about you and your team. Our hearts ache for you all and we are so sorry for your loss.

  19. My sorrow since reading about this yesterday morning is nothing compared to what you are going through. I am so sorry that you and all involved were subject to such a painful experience . Your strength along with your whole team of good people, is amazing. I will keep hoping for swift recoveries for your beloved animals. You made a huge impression on me as we crossed paths while walking cross country one year in Aiken when you said to me “good luck and have fun!” That comment from such a talented rider made me feel more included in our wonderful sport! thank you and stay strong…

  20. Anonymous says

    Boyd, Silva, & all other affected parties,

    Tears came to my eyes when I heard the news of your loss. I am so terribly sorry.
    In the face of such tragedy, it can be difficult to find a starting point for putting yourself back together, but I know that you, with the help of the thousands and thousands of supporters, will find the strength to continue on.

    Remember those lost horses with fondness. Think not of their loss, but of what they gave and how much they were loved during their lives. Try not to dwell on the sadness, but let them be the spirits which help push you through tough times, and know that they cared for you as much as you cared for them. And when a warm breeze brushes your cheek, let it renew you and remind you of the warmth and love they gave in their time here.

    When you look into the eyes of those horses that survived thanks to the courage of the humans that care so much for them, try not to be sad, but see the resilience in their spirits. Let their courage be yours, and let your burdens be shared by them.

    We are all behind you, supporting you all even though you cannot see us. And if you call for aide, we will answer with a rousing call and high spirits.


  21. Even here in England there is great sadness and sympathy for your loss. Every eventer here I am sure sympathises and sends their greatest condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.
    I am amazed at the strength you have all showed at this horrific time.
    I sincerely hope that the other horeses pull through and that we in England see you fighting strong at next years Olympics, god knows you deserve it!

    From all of us in England,

  22. Angel Martin says

    Dear Boyd, Silva, and all the True Prospect Family,

    I am just gutted for you all. Everyone’s courage and grit have been amazing, yet not at all unexpected for such dedicated horsemen and women.

    My thoughts are with you, the horses at NB, and the precious velvet noses that were lost.

    Continued strength,
    Angel Martin

  23. Anonymous says

    Boyd, I’m an amateur rider and I have never met you, but I will never forget the time that you said, “Nice round,” when I passed you on my horse coming out of show jumping at a horse trials. You’re one of the nicest people in eventing, and I hope you realize how many people are thinking of you, Silvia, and your team at this terrible time. Best wishes to all of you.

  24. Anonymous says

    Boyd,Silva, staff, owners, all involved with True Prospect- the hearts of ALL horesmen go out to you at this time, please feel our prayers and support for you and the horses recovering at New Bolton.
    To some degree, the hole in your guts will be there forever, but with the courage and dedication you all have shown in the past & during this tradgedy, as well as the love and support that has and will continue to flow from the equine community, you will heal and continue, horses are what define all of you.
    In the future, the victories will be sweeter and the less than stellar rounds not so consuming. There is a beautiful poem about the loss of horses that ends with “don’t cry for the horses that life has set free… love the ones that are here.”
    Lean on your friends, they want to help- take it one day, or even one hour at a time and kick on!
    Thanks for the updates, difficult as they are, we appreciate knowing, as you all continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.
    Kathy H.

  25. Anonymous says

    Dear Boyd, Silva, Lillian, Caitlan, Ryan, Owners, and all the True Prospect Family,

    Our hearts ache for your loss and sorrow – we are all thinking of you. B and O King

  26. Anonymous says

    Kristi Nunnink, Boyd and Silva I cry everytime I read a new article about your tradedy, wrds dont really help but if there is anything I can do to help please let me know I hope with all my heart that all of your horses that survived make a full recover. On a brighter subject I would love to have you guys out to California to teach some clinics and dont have your number my number is 530 249 2696 best of luck.

  27. May the Lord keep and comfort you and all those affected by this devastating tragedy. My prayers are with you all. xo

  28. Boyd and Silva, Kari and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers…God bless.

  29. Anonymous says

    Dear Boyd,

    you are amazing to gather yourself to write such a touching blog in the midst of what must be a nightmare that you just wish you could wake up from. I hope that you and everyone involved in the fire are able to gain strength from the eventing and unionville community which obviously care deeply. My thoughts are with you and your crew during this dark time.

    Anne Hambleton

  30. Anonymous says

    i hope your ponies get better. and im sure the ones that passed are having a good time in heaven.

  31. Sarah Pallas says

    I don’t know any of the Windurra/True Prospect folks personally but have been so touched by your heroism and stoicism through this horrible ordeal. I am so very sad and worried about all of the people and horses involved. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, both physically and emotionally, for the people and ponies.

  32. Anonymous says

    Every one of you in the Windurra and TPF community, the owners, the riders, the grooms, the friends and family who are at your sides – you are all amazing, showing an incredible amount of strength and resilience. You are all inspirations and have tremendous courage to carry on. There is a WORLD of people behind you and I am so sorry for your loss. Best wishes and God Bless, from a community of horse folks at the bottom of South America.

  33. Forest Hills Pony Club says

    Hi Boyd
    Wow, How do you cope with that?
    Can’t even think how I would begin. Chin up and focus on the living.
    We are all thinking of you.
    Lee-Ann Swan, Ian Charnaud and all the mob at Forest Hills Pont Club

  34. Anonymous says


    Just read about this–so sorry for your losses and prayers to the living horses and people that they carry on with strength

    I lived in a barn that had a similar tragedy years before I lived there–(Ledyard Farm South Hamilton Mass) Every time I rode by the horse graveyard –I thought about it–unimaginable

    I work in the catastrophe field –working Tornados, Hurricanes–(Katrina and others) and -dealt with many people just after 911 in New York –you all will go through the stages of grief and loss–let yourselves feel it and grow from it you will be alright–

    Watched you ride in Rolex this year and last you are very talented–

    This year I sent a few photos to Lisa for this blog-

    Haven’t gotten online very much this week because I am working Tornado losses and it is crazy this year–Just learned of your tragedy–My thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

    Cindy Lawler

  35. I am wondering if anyone ever thought to thank the volunteer firefighters that came to the facility to do their job in the middle of the night? And that tried to keep you guys from getting yourselves killed.
    Actually – did you know that MOST are preventable barn fires? If there is proper hay and straw storage in a separate facility, if there is proper compartmentalization of the barn, if there is appropriate fire detection and alarm systems installed (not the $5 version at the hardware store) and no people living in the facility – that would have limited the extent of the fire, and the automatic sprinklers would have suppressed the fire. Did you have proper working access to water sources to fight the fire? There are a million questions that I want to ask – because we teach this stuff to firefighters and we always tell people not to go back into a burning barn – no matter how much you love your horses. And NFPA 150 gives you every bit of detail on how to properly build and design a facility to minimize the chance of fire – as does your local fire code.
    The whirlwind of success with Neville is impressive and wonderful – but it still looks to me that so much focus has been on your successes with the horses since – perhaps a small gesture of thanks would be appreciated by the local firemen. I am sure that by trying to make yourself look like a hero, when in actuality it was quite dangerous – and even bragging about hitting a fire chief – has made them very upset. I am certainly upset about it. That is nothing to be proud of.

    Thank you –
    Dr. Rebecca Gimenez

  36. Your bravery and love for the animals is second to none and I understand loving a horse so much that you risk your own life for it. Such a tragedy, but you did as much as you possibly could. I will follow your entire eventing career, always cheering you on.

  37. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again
    Ledyard Storage Units

Speak Your Mind

Facebook IconYouTube IconVisit Our BlogVisit Our Blog