Cause of fire that destroyed around 300 tonnes of straw bedding for horses is being investigated

Aimi Clark

An investigation is ongoing into the cause of a fire that destroyed 600 bales of straw belonging to equine bedding manufacturer Sundown Products.

The straw stack before the fire started. Credit: Sundown Products

The company said in a statement it was “victim to a large straw stack fire” which took hold on Tuesday morning (31 August) in a field just south of the A14 near Thrapston in Northamptonshire.

The stack of large straw bales weighed around 300 tonnes and represented around one-and-a-half day’s production work. The stack had been completed four days earlier on Saturday 28 August.

The statement said the straw had been due to be moved within the next few days due to its highly visible location and proximity to footpaths.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service was called at 7.20am after smoke was seen from the A14 and fire engines from Thrapston, Kettering and Rushden attended the scene.

“A straw stack fire is always very upsetting, and even though the straw was insured it’s so frustrating for our team who have worked so hard this harvest to bale our straw from local farmers,” said David Cubitt, director at Sundown Products.

“We are grateful that nobody was hurt and extend our thanks to those that reported the fire and the Thrapston, Kettering and Rushden fire crews that worked quickly to extinguish it and prevent the fire spreading. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.”

The company confirmed that its supply of bedding for customers will not be affected.

David added that although it appeared to be a large stack of bales in the fire, it was actually a small amount of bales harvested by the company.

“Our customers can be reassured that supplies of our horse bedding products are unaffected and they will still be available direct from Sundown or through our network of retailers,” he said.

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As the editor of Your Horse Online, Aimi oversees all our digital content. She has worked in equestrian media for over 15 years and joined Your Horse as editor in 2017. Aimi has owned and ridden horses all her life. She grew up on a farm in Devon and was a Tetcott & South Tetcott Pony Club member, joining with her first pony — a New Forest called Prudence — before moving on to a Danish Warmblood called Marcus and competing in all activities, but particularly enjoying eventing. She has rehomed and retrained more than 10 ex-racehorses and dabbled in point-to-pointing. There have been plenty of bumps, setbacks and heartache along the way, as well as a lot of fun and many successes. Aimi has two young children and she still loves ex-racehorses. You can often find her hacking her Thoroughbred in the Oxfordshire countryside, flying the flag for Your Horse's #Hack1000Miles challenge.

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