A FUND set up to support the Wearside stables where five horses perished in a fire has gathered almost £2,000 in less than 24 hours.
The blaze in the early hours of Monday at Station House Stables, in Coxgreen Road, Penshaw, saw five of the animals killed, although 15 managed to escape thanks to the help of a passing policewoman.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation as part of a joint probe by Northumbria Police and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
Now, well-wishers who are part of the horse community in the area have created a fund-raising page called “Help for Station House Stables” to generate money for those affected.
So far, more than £16,000 has been collected after 150 people kindly donated money.
Spare equipment is also being donated to the stables.
It’s amazing that people in the horse community have pulled together like this and been so kindSue Crangle, whose daughter Zoe lost her pony Phantom in the Station House Stables fire
Nine-year-old Zoe Shields, whose show-jumping pony Phantom was one of the animals who died, has been left devastated by the incident.
“She is totally heartbroken,” said Zoe’s mum Sue, of Grangetown in Sunderland.
“She’d had Phantom a year and a half and rode her in high-level competitions. He was one in a million.”
Speaking about the fund, Ms Crangle added: “It’s amazing that people in the horse community have pulled together like this and been so kind.
“Obviously, they have the same love for horses as we do.”
Part owner of the stables, Trevor Holmes, said he couldn’t estimate how much the damage is set to cost him, but said insurers have been informed of the incident and will be investigating.
Mr Holmes, who has been involved with the stables for about 20 years, said: “The people here are all devastated by what happened.
“There’s never been any problems in all of the time I’ve been here.
“At the minute, I haven’t got a clue how much this will cost, but the insurance people will be coming out soon to have a look.”
To donate to the fund-raising appeal, visit www.gofundme.com/sgk3d6p.