Fire Ravages Anchor And Hope Farm, Prompts Early Sale Of Yearlings

by | 08.20.2019 | 11:28am
Anchor & Hope Farm after an August 2019 barn fire caused $500,000 worth of damage.

A massive barn fire at Anchor & Hope Farm in Port Deposit, Md., has left the operation facing an equally massive rebuilding project, The Racing Biz reports. In the meantime, the farm will offer a group of yearlings it was preparing for the fall auctions ahead of time for private sale.

The fire occurred on Aug. 12, first discovered by forewoman Heather Cellinesi, who saw the smoke rising from the main barn in the late morning. Stallions Imagining and Bourbon Courage were inside, along with a group of yearlings being prepped for the sales and three mares with foals.

Cellinesi managed to throw open the doors on each stall and get the horses out of the barn without any loss of life. She and farm owner Louis Merryman, who arrived on the scene when he saw the plume of smoke from about 10 miles away, wrangled a potentially dangerous mix of horses with other family and staff while firefighters worked on putting out the blaze. Total loss for the structure and its contents was estimated at about $500,000.

“The barn was huge,” Merryman told The Racing Biz. “It was really three barns in one, in a large L-shape and 2-1/2 stories high. The fire started on the east side, which was made of pine, steel, and concrete. It quickly jumped to the west side, which my father renovated 30 years ago using oak that he reclaimed from a DuPont barn that was being torn down after 75 years standing. When the fire got to the oak, it exploded. It was so hot, it completely warped all of the steel and turn cinder blocks into sand.”

Because the barn was the main hub of activity on the property, and rebuilding will require the primary focus of time, energy, and money going forward, Anchor & Hope will be offering eight yearlings for private sale that would have otherwise pointed for auctions in the coming months. The small dispersal is aptly named “The Firesale”

To view the online brochure with information on the offerings and contact details for interested parties, click here.

“Realistically having them prepped and ready is not possible, and the best solution is to sell them off the farm as quickly as possible,” the farm wrote in a Facebook statement. “We have an awesome group of colts and fillies by Bourbon Courage and Imagining and a Mineshaft colt. It breaks our hearts as we take great pride in showing everyone off at the sales, but we need to focus on rebuilding.”

Read more at The Racing Biz.

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