October 30, 2014

Elyria
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Operators of horse therapy program promise to go on after devastating fire

OREGON, Ohio — Operators of a horse-riding therapy program in Ohio are promising to keep it going after a devastating fire killed all but two of their therapy horses.

The fire on Thursday tore through a century-old barn just outside Toledo, killing six specially trained horses and several other animals.

Adults and children with autism and emotional and learning difficulties have been taking part in horse therapy programs over the past two decades at the Vail Meadows Equestrian Center.

Its owners say only one of every five horses they get has the gentle nature and patience needed to be a therapy horse.

They say the hardest part will be telling the riders who have developed special bonds with their horses that they’re now gone.

Investigators don’t know yet what started the fire.