Man held in Old fire case

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The Independent Online
A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the fire that claimed the lives of four horses at Jim Old's stable two weeks ago.

Swindon police yesterday took a local man into custody to question him about the cause of the fire which ravaged a barn at Old's stables at Barbury Castle in Wiltshire.

Four horses, including the high-class hurdler Backgammon, died in the fire, in which dozens more suffered injuries when they were allowed to roam free on the downs in order to escape the blaze which occurred in the middle of the night. Two horses are still undergoing treatment at Ridgeway Veterinary Horse Hospital in Lambourn.

Of the 26 horses still at the yard, which stables the Champion Hurdle winner Collier Bay, 10 are still being treated as walking wounded while the others are waiting for rain to bring softer ground before they return to the track.