Eight horses die in stable fire

December 19, 2008 9:37:40 AM PST
We're waiting to find out the cause of a fire which killed eight horses in southeast Houston overnight. That fire destroyed a stable along Fuqua and Cullen. Some of those horses had been used to help special needs children. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

A prize winning quarter horse was among the eight horses that died there this morning

"I had a 16-year-old stallion here named Mr. Frenchie," said stable renter Gerald Gistand.

It was less than a month ago when Gistand says he moved his spotted brown and white stallion to the stable. He is among half a dozen owners who rented stalls there.

"It's going to be pretty hard," he said. "I don't know how I'm going to recover from this. I've never had anything like this happen in my life."

Gistand says Mr. Frenchie was a gift from a friend he met on a trail riding association, which is also how he came to know the owner of the stable, Gerald Butler. Butler not only rode horses, but also used them to help special needs children understand the world around them.

"The expression on their faces, was just always of joy," he said. "You had a problem getting them on there, but then you had a problem getting them off."

The loss is great. Owners say their horses are more than just animals because they possses a spirit unlike any other creature.

Butler says he doesn't know if he'll rebuild. As for the cause of the fire, it's still under investigation.

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