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17 horses have been killed in a barn fire in Canada.

The fire in Langley, British Columbia, swept through the barn on Sunday 1 June.

16 harness-racing horses and 1 miniature horse died in the blaze.

The standardbred horses were estimated to be worth $500,000 to $700,000.

They were owned by Rick Mowles and trained by Bill Davis.

“Rick breeds his own horses, so most of these he has probably watched ever since their career started,” said Jackson Wittup, of Harness Racing BC.

“This is going to be very very tough on him financially and emotionally. And Bill Davis too, he was making a very nice living with those kind of horses.”

More than $100,000 worth of equipment was also lost and the stables were completely destroyed.

Most of the horses that died were 2 and 3 year-olds due to compete in the next harness-racing season in September.

Two farmworkers were treated with smoke inhalation.

More than 40 firefighters fought the blaze, which was one of the worst affecting livestock in British Columbia.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

• How safe are your stables? Get expert advice on how to fire-proof your stable yard