Barn Fire Kills Three Horses at Family Home of Fairmount Jockey

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Fairmount Park | T.D. Thornton photo

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A fundraising campaign has been established to help the family of Fairmount Park jockey Elizabeth Thurman after a 12:30 a.m. fire on Sunday killed three horses and destroyed a barn and shed at the family’s home in Belleville, Illinois.

There were no human injuries and the family’s four dogs escaped unharmed. The house, which is about 12 miles south of Fairmount, also suffered damage, according to KSDK-TV.

The horses were described as “young” but were not identified by breed in news reports or on the funding page. They were named Clyde, Psycho and Mike.

Thurman, 23, has been riding since 2018 and is the only regular female jockey in the Fairmount riding colony. She was in Troy, Missouri, at the time of the fire and rushed back home upon learning of the news, KSDK reported.

Last year Thurman suffered a broken leg when a horse flipped over on her, and she was told by doctors that she might never ride again, according to a separate KSDK profile. She resumed riding in March but has been winless on the year from 18 starts.

“Barn is a total loss. We lost three wonderful horses. Lost tools and things I’d had my entire life,” Kelly Thurman posted on the fundraising page. “Tons of priceless photos and memories gone. I am thankful I have my kids and we are all safe. I’ve never been in a place where just I did not know what to do ’til now. Lord please help us through this one.”

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