It turns out that the 30-minute run a 2-year-old filly took Saturday on a Kentucky highway after shedding her jockey and bolting from a racetrack wasn’t the horse’s only terrifying experience of the weekend.

Recovering from the trauma of a run that made national news and left her dehydrated and with minor cuts, Bold and Bossy was staying overnight in an Ellis Park receiving barn when it caught fire early Sunday morning. An “unknown hero” saved her and six other horses, according to Bold and Bossy’s owner, Michael Ann Ewing.

The horse suffered burns on her neck, shoulders, back and withers, Ewing said. By 10 a.m. Sunday, Bold and Bossy was in the care of the Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, not far from where Ewing trains her 20 or so horses.

Kelsey Wallace, a trainer with Ewing, had made a three-hour trip with the filly from Lexington to Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., for the horse’s first race, during which she threw off jockey Miguel Mena. She ran over a levee and headed for U.S. 41, briefly running alongside autos on Interstate 69 and Veterans Memorial Parkway, as trainers, along with police and the sheriff’s department, gave chase.

“The racing community is so great,” Ewing said. “The staff, trainers and assistants — people I didn’t even know — jumped in their trucks or golf carts and there was a massive search for her as soon as she went running.”

Horse running at me full speed on I-69 today. No idea how it started or ended. Odd times we live in.

Posted by Cullen Stanley on Saturday, August 21, 2021

Wearing blinkers, Ewing said, the horse could see only straight ahead and just kept going, finally tiring after about 30 minutes when “all the muscles in her body just tucked up” in cramps from dehydration, a painful and dangerous development for a horse and one that makes it difficult to move. Luckily, a veterinarian was in pursuit, along with the equine ambulance. She was immediately sedated and given fluids.

“Just by the grace of God, she was not hit,” Ewing said. “Thank God she was not hurt or caused someone else to be severely injured or killed.”

That led to the decision by Ewing and Wallace to keep Bossy, as Ewing calls her, overnight in the receiving barn, calming her and treating her as she received 30 liters of fluid before taking her back to Ewing’s facility.

“Kelsey was unprepared to stay overnight, but she said she thought it would be better to keep Bossy there to settle her overnight before giving her more meds and taking her back,” Ewing said. “She sat with her until later in the evening and they checked on her again and again before she finally went to her hotel room. Then she calls me at 5 a.m. to say the receiving barn had burned down.”

At Rood & Riddle, “they’re assessing her lungs and putting more fluids into her and they’re going to evaluate the burns. It’s really hard to tell how bad they are going to be. You could see dimpling under the cream,” Ewing said, adding that she expected Bossy would be in that air-conditioned stall for at least a few days.

“They’ll just do everything they can for her for a couple of days, then we’ll reassess and see what the game plan is.”

For now, that means Bossy will spend some time at a farm owned by the veterinarian Ewing uses. “She’ll be under the care of my vet until she heals and is comfortable. I just don’t know the extent of it yet.”

Despite the excitement, Bossy was quiet and calm on the trip from Ellis Park to the hospital. “I think she’s just exhausted. It’s no exaggeration, she looked like she’d lost 200 pounds. She was still all tucked up,” Ewing said, “and sweet as pie.”

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