A BURNHAM stables is set to stage a special ride in memory of 12 horses killed in an suspected arson attack.

The fire broke out at Elmwood Equestrian Centre, in Maldon Road, at about 11.30pm on December 3, 2017, leaving 12 horses dead.

Many others were left severely traumatised by the horrific blaze.

Horse owner Grace Tredgold, 20, said: “My friend called me at around 11.45 quarter to twelve and they said you need to get down here – I thought it was a joke.

“When I was driving down there, I saw the smoke and fire coming up and it was really traumatic.”

Fire crews from Maldon, South Woodham Ferrers, Tillingham, Rayleigh Weir and Corringham rushed to the scene.

They were helped by members of the public to save the horses from the stables.

Many riders described feeling helpless when they heard about the blaze.

By the time many arrived at the scene, the blaze had already taken hold and claimed the lives of a number of the 70 horses at the stables.

Around 50 were left traumatised by the incident.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service later confirmed the incident was believed to be arson.

An investigation into the fire was closed by Essex Police in March 2018.

Grace’s 10-year-old horse, Willow, sadly died along with 11 others, but she wants her memory to live on. Last November – almost a year on from the tragedy – a group of the horses’ owners got together to install a headstone at the stables, inscribed with the names of the dead horses.

Grace added: “Last year for the anniversary we did a memorial ride, so we decided to do one again this year.

“The amount of support is just amazing and it’s nice to make a happy statement out of a bad event.

“The ride will encourage people to remember all the horses and get people talking about it again.

“It’s so we don’t forget what happened and hopefully jog people’s memories in case anyone has any information.”

The 9.5-mile ride will take place on November 24 at Elmwood Equestrian Centre.