Stockport horse arson: Animal killed in 'callous' stable attack

'Our world came crashing down,' the owner of the stable said of the moment she heard the news

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The Independent Online

Police are appealing for witnesses after a horse was killed in a “callous” arson attack in Stockport.

Ruben, a seven-year-old Welsh Section A pony, died in what is believed to have been a deliberate fire in the early hours of Tuesday 14 July.

The pony belonged to a little girl who had been saving for months to buy the horse a new saddle, the Manchester Evening News reported.

Greater Manchester Police officers and fire crews were called to the stable block in Winnington Road, Marple shortly before 2am. 

The five other horses who also live at the stables were elsewhere, and were therefore saved by "pure chance", the police force said.

Kerry Pardon, who owns the stables, said removing Ruben from the scene would “haunt her forever”.

Her stables were also destroyed in the devastation.

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Winnington Road, where the stables are based

Ms Pardon, who has worked with horses for her whole life, told the Press Association: "Our world came crashing down yesterday and it was only by pure chance that the other five horses were in the field that night and not in the stable, otherwise things could have been even worse.

"I have never had to carry out such a disturbing act as I did last night, when we had to personally remove the remains of our beloved Ruben from what was left of the fire. This is something that will haunt me forever.“

Police are treating the fire as a “deliberate act", said Detective Constable Neil Hewitt, who is based at Hazel Grove police station.

He said: "This is a tragic case in which a horse-loving family, who have spent considerable effort and money to build up their stable block to stable a number of their horses, have been left devastated by these callous actions.

"The horse that died belonged to a family friend, who is equally distraught at the loss of their beloved animal, and I am only thankful that the other horses were in the field at the time and were not injured."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police in Stockport on 0161 856 9598, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.