A full investigation has been launched after two miniature horses died in a suspicious fire at stables near Rochester.

Police were called to Binney Road, Allhallows in Kent, at around 2.20pm on Friday 22 February after fire fighters had stemmed the blaze.

The two American 27inch ponies were bequeathed to Sarah Farrow last October.

Sarah told H&H: “I have known them all their lives, I was there when they were born. My sister-in-law passed away in October and left them to me in her will.”

Three stables and her tack room were destroyed along with the two ponies.

“I was left with just the hoof pick in my pocket. My horses have come across the worst of humanity, but there have been some wonderful people who have come to my rescue,” she added. “I would like to thank the two strangers who have sent me rugs and other equipment for the other horses I own.

“I would also like to thank all those that tried to save the lives of my ponies.”

Detective constable Steve Goldsmith from Medway police said: “This is a cruel and malicious act and a full investigation has been launched.”

Throughout the past year, owners of other horses in the yard had been receiving threatening letters and had their horse’s mane and tail hacked off in the night. It is not known if these events are linked to the arson attack.

Sarah had five other horses stabled at Binney Road, which were moved to safer lodgings within an hour of the attack. She hopes someone may be able to help the police in their investigation.

“These people need to be tracked down before a tragedy like this happens again,” said Sarah.

Police are appealing for two 12-year-old boys to come forward who were seen nearby at the time of the attack and could be key witnesses.

DC Steve Goldsmith said: “If someone out there has information about this crime I would ask them to contact officers at Medway police station 01634 792413 or CrimeStoppers 0800 555111.”