Benefit concert held to help horses, trainers affected by Lilac Fire

Posted at 10:30 AM, Jan 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 02:22:15-05

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - An American music legend is stepping in to help raise money for the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center in Bonsall, which had 46 horses killed in last month's Lilac Fire.

On Wednesday night, singer Burt Bacharach will perform at a benefit concert at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach (143 South Cedros Ave.), with proceeds going to those at San Luis Rey Downs that were affected by the wildfire. Bacharach will be joined by musician Elvis Costello, as well as actresses Bo Derek and Anjelica Huston.

Trainer Cliff Sise has 22 horses currently at Del Mar that are living off the kindness of others.

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"You can't believe how a community could come together so fast and so good; and people are still helping today," Sise told 10News.

Sise lost almost everything when the Lilac Fire destroyed San Luis Rey Downs. The fire burned down his stable and his equipment, and he lost five horses.

"It takes a little life out of you. You just don't feel that good," he said.

Donations came from all over to help Sise and other trainers, workers and owners get back on their feet. But on Wednesday night, they're getting a hand from an unlikely source.

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"Who doesn't want to see Burt Bacharach? Everybody knows Burt Bacharach," Sise said.

Beth Bennett with the Belly Up told 10News, "Four hundred [people] is our capacity. We sold it out in about two days. Everything will go straight back to the humans that have been affected, and the horses as well."

Bacharach has owned horses for about 50 years, and Sise used to work for his trainers.

Sise said he's not surprised the singer stepped up to help.

"They are horse people. Burt's always … man, he's owned horses since I was 20-years-old. I'm 66 now," said Sise.

For those who want to help but are unable to attend the concert, click here for more information.