Two horses were left to die in a burning stable in Bristol after attackers slashed their faces with knives and set the building alight.

The pair of animals, aged 11 and 18, were cut so badly one of their owners described the horse's face as 'hanging off', telling the Bristol Post they were only alive because a melted water pipe had doused the flames.

Debbie Nash, 56, who owns 18-year-old Lucky, told the Post: "We were just so lucky a water pipe in the stable melted and saved them. Without that, they definitely would have died."

She added of Lucky and the other horse, Blaine: "Lucky has made a brilliant recovery – but it's touch and go for Blaine. They will decide over the next day whether he needs to be put down.

"We have a pretty good idea who's done it and police are now investigating. They are trying to find anyone with cameras in the area."

Despite Lucky making a good recovery from the attack, Nash added the horse will always be scarred after being knifed in the face, and she is appealing for anyone with information on the attack to come forward.

The animals were found shortly after 9pm on Monday (24 April), suffering from injuries caused by the fire – which police are now investigating.