STABLE lads from Manton have received counselling after their horsebox was involved in a horrific motorway crash in which two people and a horse died.

The horsebox from Brian Meehan’s yard was badly damaged in the crash on the M11 last Thurs-day as it travelled to an evening meeting at Newmarket.

Mr Meehan, who has trained on the Sangster-owned estate since 2006, said: “The whole thing has been a terrible shock to our yard and it will take a while for people to fully recover.

“Our paint pony Pistolero died at the Newmarket Equine Hospital. He had been with us for eight years. He was used to settle our racehorses both at home and on the course. He was a great character.

“He was Western-trained and was a treat to ride and children used to love him. He was, without doubt, one of our stable stars, and we shall all miss him greatly.

“The staff on board the box were traumatised and in a state of shock after the accident. It was a horrific incident on the motorway and we would like to send our sincerest condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives. They are foremost in our thoughts.”

His four stable lads and the horsebox driver have received counselling from experts from Racing Welfare and are back at work.

Four racehorses trained by Mr Meehan, plus Pistolero, were on board the horsebox when the collison involving it, three cars and a lorry happened.

The horsebox was in front of the vehicles involved and was hit from behind by one of the cars that was catapulted into the back of it and caught fire.

A horsebox owned by Roger Charlton, who trains at Beckhampton, was nearby on the motorway and was one of a number that stopped to help.

Mr Charlton said: “Our box was diverted up the hard shoulder to pick up three of the distressed horses and eventually transport them to the vets.”

One of Mr Meehan’s racehorses, Da Do Run Run, is expected to remain in the veterinary centre in Newmarket for some time, and is being treated for a fractured skull and fractured pelvis. The M11 was closed for several hours after the collision just before 2.15pm.