SOUTH Devon has rallied to help horse owners devastated by an arson attack at a farm.
One pony died and three others were led to safety following the blaze at Rydon Farm, at Ogwell, near Newton Abbot, last Thursday night.
The fire also destroyed 500 tonnes of hay and caused £200,000 damage.
Since the incident riders have been donating kit and west of England Stabling at Beasworthy has offered temporary stables for horses which are now homeless.
"Everyone in the horse world is pulling together," said Emma Smith, who uses the Rydon Farm livery yard.
"We want to say a massive thank you to the firefighters who risked their lives to rescue the ponies who were trapped in the barn and to the owners of Rydon who did everything they could and have been left devastated by it all.
"People across Torbay and Teignbridge have been amazing and given head collars and rugs for the horses.
"We are still in shock that someone could start the fire deliberately. The owners have said they hope the barn can be rebuilt by the start of the lambing season in November."
Emma Paris, from Paignton, who lost her seven-year-old pony Sal in the blaze, has been left deeply saddened.
She said: "We were showing her for the first time this season and she was being ridden by my three-year-old daughter Jamie Leigh.
"I've told her Sal has gone to heaven and she's the brightest star in the sky at night.
"She was a happy, bonkers pony who we loved and was also ridden by other family members."
Martina Lawrence, of Ipplepen, had her horses, Beauty and Cariad, rescued from the barn by firefighters.
She heard about the fire through a message on Facebook and rushed to the scene.
She said: "When we got there we heard one horse didn't make it and were there for about half an hour before we were told which one it was.
"We've since had our horses checked out by a vet and they seem fine, just quieter than usual."
Barn owner Paul Gammin has owned the farm for seven years and has been left devastated.
He said: "I've run the farm with my wife, Susan, and son Matthew.
"We'd just finished harvesting and we were really pleased with ourselves. Four hundred to 500 tonnes of hay were destroyed and it will set us back around £200,000.
"We heard noise outside around 10.30pm and when we went to look the barn was already well alight.
"We thought the sound was thunder or horses to start with, but then we got up and saw the flames.
"We're all in shock and it's a big financial worry for us."
He has spoken to his insurance company.
He said: "We would like to thank the fire crews for all they have done. They've been brilliant."
Police are investigating.