A Welsh yard is counting the cost after a suspected arson attack razed two stables, two barns and a horse lorry to the ground.

Welsh Section B breeder Laura Marsh, of the Jula Stud in Beddau, Mid Glamorgan, was called to the yard at 8pm on 19 October after a friend saw flames.

“Our lorry was on fire,” said Laura. “My friend had tried to get all the ponies out of their stables but a thoroughbred mare was refusing to come out into the flames.”

Eventually they used a sledgehammer to break down the back wall of the stable and the mare — Lily of the Nile — was led to safety.

She had lost her mane, her rug had melted onto her back and she had inhaled a lot of smoke.

In all eight Welsh ponies and two thoroughbreds were saved and £25,000 damage was done to the yard.

Arsonists are thought to have set fire to rugs which they had piled between the hay barn and horse box.

A man has been arrested.