Vile attackers slashed two horses’ faces and left them to burn in their stables in a deliberate attack in Bristol.

The stables were found ablaze on Monday morning (24 April). Luckily, the fire was prevented from doing as much damage as could have been the case, as a water pipe melted in the heat and emptied its contents on the flames.

Debbie Nash, who owns one of the injured horses, was on her way to the yard when a friend who had already arrived called her.

“She said: ‘Quick, get up here, they’re on fire,’” Debbie told H&H.

“She found the water had stopped my friend’s pony Blaze getting too badly burnt, but the back of his stable was still on fire and there was smoke coming off him.

“The one next to that had our hay and straw in it; that was ablaze and the other one was just catching. Emma got my other horse Ted out of there and was then fighting with the door to get Blaze out.”

New Forest pony Blaze was burned and his mane singed off, but the other horses were unharmed by the fire. But both Blaze and Debbie’s horse Lucky had slash wounds to their faces.

“Lucky’s face was just hanging,” Debbie said. “Thankfully, the vet said it looked worse than it is; he’s had 18 staples and he should recover.

“You can see it was done with a knife as it was a straight slash.”

Debbie said the vet has ruled out smoke damage to Blaze’s lungs, which could have meant he had to be put down, and he should make a full recovery, but it took some two hours to catch the pony to treat him as he was so traumatised by the experience.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Debbie said. “All ours are really friendly but now, if you go to Lucky’s door, he runs to the back of the stable, and he’s now petrified of men.

“It’s so sad; he even does it with me and I’ve had him four years.

“It’s not just the physical damage; they’re traumatised by what’s happened.”

Debbie said when the temperature dropped the following night, Blaze’s owner tried to put him back in the stable “but he wouldn’t go anywhere near it”. He was left out instead with a rug on, but the rug rubbed skin which had not initially appeared burnt.

“He’s looking better than he was, but it’s heartbreaking,” Debbie said.

“To see Lucky like that – I felt physically sick. I can’t believe anyone could do that.

“If the pipe hadn’t melted, we’d have come up to find the horses burned to death.”

The horses’ owners are now considering moving yards, or installing CCTV.

Avon and Somerset Police is investigating the incident and has asked for anyone with information to come forward.

A spokesman said: “The horses suffered significant injury including burns, caused by the fire which also left a great deal of damage to the stables.

“We are taking this incident very seriously and investigations are ongoing.”

Anyone with information should call 101 and ask to speak to Bristol investigations, quoting reference 5217090491.

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