About 20 horses and their trainers, who arrived in Thermal Wednesday night, have had a long journey. The group left Northern California Wednesday morning, fleeing the Tubbs Fire as it threatens homes and stables in Napa County.
The equestrian center at Diamond Mountain Stables in Calistoga had to be evacuated. These beautiful horses usually arrive in the Coachella Valley in early winter for the HITS Coachella Show, but had to make the trip early this year.
Owners Charlie and Macella O’Neill are unsure if the fire has reached their business, but they’re happy and relieved to have made it safely to Racho Polo Equestrian Center in Thermal.
“We’re very lucky to be out of it because a lot of people aren’t,” says stable manager Haley Schwab who lost her home to the fire Sunday. “I’m sure once I get to sleep and get up tomorrow, I’ll start thinking about it. But for now, we’re just very lucky to get all the horses out."
Schwab says she’s thankful for the help from friends who volunteered their time and trailers to bring the horses down to the desert.