Trainer honored after suffering severe burns saving horses from Lilac Fire

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SAN DIEGO — The horse trainer who suffered severe burns and fell into a coma after trying to rescue horses at the San Luis Rey Training Center in Bonsall during the Lilac Fire was honored for her efforts Saturday.

Thoroughbred trainer Martine Bellocq suffered second and third-degree burns to over 50 percent of her body while saving the horses as flames swept through the region last winter. Hundreds of horses were rescued from the facility, but more than two dozen were killed.

On Saturday, Bellocq was honored for her efforts with the 15th Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award after the third race of the annual Pacific Classic at the Del Mar Racetrack.

It’s been a long race to recovery for Bellocq, who appeared at the event in a wheelchair. But the trainer believes she has already mentally won.

“I think I am a strong person; I work with horses. You fall down on your horse, you have to go back on,” she told the crowd.

Other trainers who helped rescue horses from the flames were also honored in an event Friday evening.

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