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Tributes have been paid to 24 horses who were killed in a yard fire.

A memorial event was held on 7 January following a blaze at Folly Farm in Connecticut, US, with more than 400 people showing their support.

The fire tore through the yard overnight between 27 and 28 December.

“Tragically, 24 horses housed in our metal arena barn died of smoke inhalation,” said a spokesman for Folly Farm.

“Most of these horses were part of our riding school and our polo school, and three were privately owned.

“These gentle souls taught hundreds of children and adults how to ride, to play polo, and to love through the years.

“They were the heart and soul of Folly Farm and of our lives. The 19 horses housed in other barns were not affected.

“We appreciate all of the love and support we have received from horse lovers across the country.”

Simsbury’s Volunteer Fire Company was assisted by area departments in extinguishing the blaze. Crews are investigating the cause of the fire.

The memorial event gave supporters a chance to share stories and photos of the horses and ponies lost in the fire.

Farm general manager Alison Patricelli, polo student Annie Ebersold and rider Latha Dulipsingh were among those who spoke.

The Folly Farm team issued a statement on its Facebook page following the memorial.

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“Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out today to show their love of the horses,” it read.

“So many faces, so many stories, 400 people gathered to share. The Folly Farm family is amazing.”

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