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$20,000 donated to Friends' group for Lilac Fire evacuation efforts

Released: May 10, 2018

DEL MAR, Calif. (May 10, 2018) – As wildfires ripped through Northern San Diego County on Dec., 7, 2017, an outpouring of community support spread nearly as quickly to aid in horse and livestock evacuation efforts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The Friends of the San Diego County Fairgrounds reports that more than $20,000 in donations were received from December 2017-May 2018. Those funds were used to buy feed and bedding for the horses while they were housed at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The remaining donated funds were dispersed to CARMA (California Retirement Management Account), a charitable organization dedicated to providing funding for the rehabilitation, retraining and/or retirement of California-raced Thoroughbred horses.

In addition to these funds, donated items poured in from individuals, small businesses and major corporations bringing hay, bedding, food (an astounding 14.2 tons of apples and carrots) and other livestock supplies along with food and coffee for the volunteers who worked around the clock. Volunteer veterinarians and vet techs cared for animals in need.

More than 850 horses and other large animals including goats, pigs and llamas were rescued from the fires and brought to the Fairgrounds during the evacuation efforts. Approximately 400 of the horses were thoroughbreds from the fire-damaged San Luis Rey Training Center. They called the Del Mar Fairgrounds home for the winter while their stables were being rebuilt.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds also served the community as a fire evacuation site during wildfires in 2003, 2007 and 2014. During the 2007 event, the Fairgrounds provided a safe haven to 2,300+ horses and livestock and 2,000+ human evacuees. Our commitment to provide a safe haven for horses, livestock and members of the San Diego community during times of crisis remains an essential component of the mission of the Fairgrounds.

We would like to sincerely thank the donors, veterinarians and volunteers for a job well done to provide refuge for San Diego’s equestrian community during this time of crisis.

About the Del Mar Fairgrounds

The 22nd District Agricultural Association is a State of California agency that owns and operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds, Surfside Race Place, Horsepark Equestrian Center and the Del Mar Golf Center. The 22nd DAA produces three events each year: the San Diego County Fair, the Del Mar National Horse Show and The Scream Zone. The Fairgrounds hosts more than 350 events annually, the largest of which is the live horse racing meet each summer and fall, which is operated by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for the 22nd DAA and the State of California. For more information about the 2018 San Diego County Fair, visit sdfair.com. For general Del Mar Fairgrounds information, visit delmarfairgrounds.com.

For more information, please contact:
Annie Pierce
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