|Larry & Rhonda Spratto's Barn Burns; 13 Horses Lost|
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"I am just sick to say the least. Rhonda and Larry have always put their horses first and loved them like they were their own. They have enjoyed training and people have enjoyed training with them for the right reasons. Rhonda and Larry compliment each other so well as she is an accomplished english rider and showman winning at the highest levels," Baldwin told GoHorseShow. "Larry has always been known for his starting and finishing the western rider long before it became one of the industry's most popular classes."
Baldwin adds, "They have always had such talent and great compassion for the horse and my heart goes out to them! They are just incredible people to know. I consider them very close friends and they are in my thoughts and prayers. I am just devastated!"
Horse trainer Becki Schwab of Plymouth, Wisconsin says that she has known Larry and Rhonda for over 20 years, and have become very close friends with them.
"They were also my trainers when I was showing as a youth. I have always had an incredible amount of respect for them, and I know all of the families in their group very well," Becki says. "I can't imagine what Larry, Rhonda and the families who lost their horses in the fire are going through. This tragedy hits so close to home with me, my family, and my clients because of how well we know the families and Larry and Rhonda. I'm truly heartbroken over this tragedy." (Photo of barn burned to the ground--Photo © Fox 11 News)
Many people have been expressing their condolences on Larry Spratto's Facebook page including Marcia Freeman who posted, "Rhonda and Larry, my heart aches for you today....we all know how passionate you are with your client's horses. Our thoughts are with you on this difficult day."
Pickett is an unincorporated community located in Winnebago County, Wisconsin.
From Larry Spratto: The cause of the fire was a lightning strike, which hit the transformer and the power box in the barn. We did have lightning rods on the barn, they melted. The motorhome was parked next to the barn and ignited from the heat from the barn fire. I know on some sites people were asking about lightning rods and barns, and we did have them, but the strike was severe enough that the rods were ineffective. Hope this clears up some of the stories. We are on the mend, taking it one day at a time. Still hear from horse people everyday, which is helping more than they realize.
UPDATE: GoHorseShow has set up a ChipIn account page to help Rhonda and Larry Spratto. ChipIn is a web-based service that simplifies the process of collecting money from groups of people. It is quick, easy, and secure. All proceeds will go to Larry and Rhonda Spratto. Special thanks to Debbi Trubee of Pine View Farm for the extremely generous first donation of $2,500.
of Larry and Rhonda Spratto have opened an account at the Gurnee
Community Bank to help them recover from the devastation they
encountered due to a barn fire, resulting in the loss of 13 horses.
Donations can be made in the name of Crisis Fund c/o Larry and Rhonda
Spratto and can be sent to:
Gurnee Community Bank
This is a 501(c)(3) charitable donation.