A Doncaster owner’s stable block has been burnt to the ground in an arson attack.
Natalie Andrews’ yard in Alexandra Road, Thorne, was targeted on Monday morning (4 September).
A neighbour informed her of the blaze and the fire service had arrived by the time she reached the stables at 10am.
“A caravan had been set alight and it took the stables down with it,” Ms Andrews told H&H.
“Luckily the horses were turned out. If it had been next week, when we planned to bring them in for the winter, it would have been a different story.
“The four horses were at the other end of the field when I got there. I checked them over to make sure they were ok.
“They weren’t hurt, but the two older horses were terrified. My daughter’s 16-year-old horse, Scooby, is scared of his own shadow so this is a massive blow for him.”
Scooby is kept alongside 22-year-old retired dressage mare Meg and eight-year-old Welsh ponies Gracey and Georgey.
It took firefighters two hours to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the wooden stable building along with headcollars, rugs, buckets and haynets.
“We’ve gone from having a massive stable block to nothing,” said Ms Andrews, who has kept her horses at the yard for four years.
“The firefighters put it out as fast as they could, but nothing is salvageable.
“We’ve had burglaries before with tack pinched, but nothing like this.
“I just want to catch whoever did this. They don’t realise how much of an impact it has had on our lives and the horses and what could have happened if they were in the stables.”
‘Seeing Monty and the other horses’ faces made…
Ms Andrews said local horse owners have been generous following the fire.
“People I have never met have rallied together to help and donated things like haynets and buckets,” she said. “I didn’t expect that.”
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue confirmed that the fire was started deliberately.
“At around 11am on Monday 4 September, emergency services responded to reports a caravan and stable block had been set alight on Alexandra Street, Thorne, Doncaster,” a South Yorkshire Police spokesman told H&H.
“No one was hurt in the incident but extensive damage was caused.
“Officers are currently investigating the incident and any witnesses are asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 307 of 4 September.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday