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Riding Safely

Arson Attack

12 November 2004 

Arson attack claims three


FOUR youths between the ages of 16 and 19 have been arrested after three horses died in a fire at stables in Cheshire.


The blaze, in a rural location near a school between Frodsham and Helsby, was discovered at around 9.50am last Friday (12 November) by the horses' owners, David Gray and his wife, Elizabeth, an experienced show judge.


"I gave the horses their breakfast at 8.30am, then went home—which is about a mile away—to collect my wife so that she could ride," says David Gray "As we approached the stables—only 40min after I 'd left — we could see smoke." 


An off-duty police officer walking his dog had already alerted the fire brigade, but it was too late to save the horses, a five-year-old dapple grey 15.2hh show hunter (Brother Benedict) and two show Shetlands (Ugiebank Marina and Earlswood Ellen).


"We've had horses for 30 years and this has knocked everyone for six," says Elizabeth Gray, who sits on the judges' panel of the Side-Saddle Association. "We don't know what to do with ourselves and the horse community here in Cheshire is stunned."


The Grays thought they had also lost their stable cat in the blaze but she was later found.

Source:  Horse & Hound 18 November 2004




Teenager charged with arson


A16-year-old boy has been charged with starting a fire that caused the deaths of two Shetland ponies and a Thoroughbred/Connemara in Cheshire last month (news, 18 November), writes Rebecca Taylor.


Shetland ponies Marina and Ellen and 15.2hhBen died in the fire at their stables near Helsby,Cheshire, on 12 November. 

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared in Vale Royal Youth Court, Northwich, to be charged with arson and causing unnecessary suffering to animals.


The teenager was released on conditional bail to await his next court appearance on 5 January.

Source:  Horse & Hound 30 December 2004

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