A fire that killed four Arab horses at Al Karif Arabian stud near Bolton, Manchester, is thought to have been started deliberately.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at Five Acre Farm in Farnworth at 4.36pm yesterday (23 February).

A 20m by 20m stable block was on fire and four horses died — seven-year-old mare Halanah, foals Diva and Halli and 17-year-old grey gelding Johara El Kheil, who was HOYS Arab ridden horse of the year in 2002.

Another three horses were rescued after a neighbour broke down the back wall of the stable block.

The stud is run by Vicki and Brenda Marsh and a donation line has been set up to help them rebuild their property.