Ceremony honors Barn For Equine Learning horses killed in fire

Photos of 13 horses that were killed in a fire at The Barn for Equine Learning are on display at a memorial service on Saturday, April 15, 2017.


LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A memorial service for 13 therapy horses commemorated what they gave to the Lowell community and beyond Saturday afternoon.

It’s been one week since The Barn for Equine Learning suffered a devastating fire.

Deputies with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office say they’ll likely know an exact cause by early next week and are still investigating it as criminal.

The 90 minute service memorialized each horse killed in the fire: Tinkerbell, Bo, Chick, Razz, Fiona, Gopher, Roxy, Monty, Elwood, Hero, Ace, Romeo and Simon.

More than 100 people attended the ceremony. They shared fun memories, consoled each other and prayed for justice for the barn.

More than 100 people gather at the memorial service on Saturday, April 15, 2017 for 13 therapy horses that were killed in a fire at The Barn for Equine Learning.

“This is a time just to remember everything they’ve done and all the emotions they’ve made people feel and they’ve just given a lot of people joy,” Michaela Patrick, who is one of the member of the barn’s youth committee, told 24 Hour News 8.

Youth committee members as well as others lucky enough to be a part of the barn community share their happiest memories with the horses.

“You’re safe here. It’s totally separate. You’re just yourself and you can heal and just get better,” Caitlin Patrick said.

As the barn’s directors have said since the tragedy, they plan to rebuild once they’re able to move forward. They’ve already received material donations, monetary donations and help from those who know how vital it is that they continue making a difference in people’s lives.

“We all hold each other up and that’s what family is. You choose your family sometimes and that’s what this is,” volunteer Ashley Geren told 24 Hour News 8.

If you know anything about the fire that could help investigators, call the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer 616.774.2345.