Tragedy struck at San Luis Rey Downs in Southern California on Thursday, December 7th when the Lilac Fire swept through the training facility that houses approximately 450 horses and is also home to those backstretch employees that work tirelessly for the animals.

One of those people attempting to help was trainer Martine Bellocq.  She and her husband, Pierre, were attempting to rescue some of their horses and those of other trainers at San Luis Rey when she was severely injured — sustaining severe burns over much of her body.

Since that day, she has been hospitalized and receiving treatments in a local medical center. Here is a quick update on her condition, courtesy of Del Mar Racecourse:

Trainer Martine Bellocq continues to be treated at UCSD Medical Center in San Diego for burns she received trying to rescue her horses during the San Luis Rey Downs training center fire in Bonsal Thursday. Her status remains “critical” according to the hospital and her doctors have indicated that it will be at least several more days before any decisions can be made about further treatments.

Bellocq and her husband, Pierre, Jr., had six horses at the San Diego North County facility. Four of them are known to have been rescued.

Pierre, Jr. is the older brother of long-time racing executive Remi Bellocq, who currently works in Lexington, KY with the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. They are the sons of the noted equine artist Pierre Bellocq, known as PEB.

Those wishing to donate funds toward Martine Bellocq’s medical expenses are encouraged to do so through the California Thoroughbred Trainers’ site by going to The donation can be specifically earmarked for Bellocq.

Media inquiries about Bellocq’s condition can be channeled through Mac McBride of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. His e-mail is

The California Horse Racing Board has confirmed that 46 horses perished in the fires. Approximately 350 horses have found their way to Del Mar Thoroughbred Club where they are being tended to and more have found temporary residencies at surrounding farms like Trifecta Stable. Many are still unaccounted for and others are being treated for injuries related to the ordeal.

For those of you wishing to donate to those impacted by the Lilac Fire at San Luis Rey Downs training center and the on-going efforts at Del Mar, there has been a GoFundMe page setup between the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the Stronach Group and Santa Anita Park:

The Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) also has a “Horses First Fund” which is used in emergency situations like this to respond in times of need, they can be found at:

The horse racing community has already banded together to assist in this tragic situation. As the days go on and more needs are identified with the re-building of barns and livelihoods, people will be forever grateful for everyone’s generosity.

Our thoughts go out to all who have been affected.