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11:30 GMT +3 hours21 December 2014
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Russia

Recordwinning Thoroughbreds Die in Tragic Ufa Blaze

Russia
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Over 20 record-winning thoroughbred horses and bulls have died in a fire at a breeding farm in Bashkortorstan, the press office for the republic’s president has said.

Over 20 record-winning thoroughbred horses and bulls have died in a fire at a breeding farm in Bashkortorstan, the press office for the republic’s president has said.

News of the fire at the thoroughbred breeding farm first broke early Sunday morning, the local emergencies ministry confirmed. However, when the emergency services arrived at the scene, it was already too late to save the animals.

The breeding farm's manager, Khasan Idiyatullin, told RIA Novosti that all his racing record-breakers and world champions had died in the fire. “The police are considering the possibility that this was arson” Idiyatullin said, adding that the total loss would likely be in the order of $130,000 (about 40 million rubles).

The republic's President Rustam Khamitov visited the scene of the blaze and promised that help re-building the enterprise would be offered. The animals that died were the result of two decades of selective breeding of the elite English breed on the farm.