A total of 29 horses have died and another 26 were rescued after fire tore through stables at a US racecourse on Monday morning.

Three horse barns adjacent to the Charles Town Races in Ranson, West Virginia, were set alight in the blaze at 4.20am.

The wooden barns were not owned or managed by the racecourse but were rented out to the owners of horses that trained or raced at the track.

The dead horses belonged to a number of different trainers.

One, Ronney Brown who lost 7 horses in the fire, told a local newspaper that he was “in shock”.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.