It was a profoundly sad loss for a North Glengarry farm family.
The barn at Wayne and Linda Lothian’s farm on D’Aoust Road in Lochiel was destroyed by fire overnight on May 2 and 3. Six horses, 17 cows, and nine calves perished in the fire.
Their daughter Rose Huxted, who is in the process of taking over the farm, said the barn stood for decades and was the only one her father Wayne remembered from growing up there.
Firefighters from both Vankleek Hill and Alexandria responded to the overnight fire, which Huxted said started sometime between 10 p.m. and 2:30 a.m.
“It will happen someday,” a tearful Huxted said when asked if she is considering rebuilding the barn.
“There’s too many kids and their horses who love this place,” added Huxted, who also boards horses at the farm.
She said contacting her customers to tell them what happened were “Some of the hardest phone calls I’ve ever made.”
Huxted added a few neighbours stopped in on Friday to offer their support.
While The Review was there, two friends arrived and there were very emotional hugs of support.
Meanwhile, the surviving horses stood in nearby pens around another old log barn on the property.
Huxted’s main interest is in Quarter Horses. She has been passionate about horses her whole life and has an equine coaching diploma from Olds College in Olds, Alberta.
An already-planned event has been turned into a benefit and way of showing support for Huxted and her parents. A horsemanship/obstacle clinic is happening this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (May 10, 11, 12) at the Vankleek Hill fairgrounds. The clinic is being presented by Joshua Rushing from Hume, Missouri. Rushing’s achievements include 3-time Extreme Cowboy Race World Champion, and the the Calgary Stampede 2016 Reserve Champion. It costs $600 to actually participate in the three-day clinic, but visitors can also attend for $25 per day. The event was originally to take place at the farm but had to be relocated to the fairgrounds due to the fire. For more information, call Rose Huxted at 613-577-2055.