Five horses perish, five freed as stable burns in NSW

Leeton Race Track
Leeton Race Track.

Five standardbred horses perished in a stable fire in Leeton, New South Wales, early on Tuesday morning.

Harness racing trainer Phil Maguire lost three horses while John Kefford lost two in the blaze at Leeton racecourse, near Griffith.

Maguire’s losses include a five-year-old champion gelding, Garry Kelly. His other losses were Centaury and Provence.

Kefford lost Candys Art and Captain Stapleton.

The cause of the blaze in the 16-stall barn remains unknown at this stage, but forensic police from Griffith have been called to investigate.

Firefighters managed to free some of the horses on arrival, despite the building being well alight.

Panicked horses reportedly knocked over firemen, who were not only trying to get them free but extinguish their rugs and tails, which had ignited from the heat.

Two horses managed to escape the fire unhurt.

Three others have suffered burns. At least one of them is affected by smoke inhalation.

The blaze was reported to emergency services in an emergency call at 4.10am.

Fifteen firefighters took an hour to extinguish the blaze, and worked to stop the blaze spreading to other buildings. There are three other stables on the course, one just six metres away from the burning building.




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