AROUND two dozen horses had to be evacuated from the equestrian centre at Cholderton earlier today after fire swept through Cholderton House.
No-one in the Grade II* listed 17th century house was injured in the blaze, which is understood to have started in the sitting room shortly after 7am.
GB International Grand Prix dressage rider and acclaimed trainer Anna Ross-Davies, whose Altogether Equestrian is based in the grounds of the house, was at the scene when the fire broke out and moved the 22 horses to safety.
Some were taken from her training yard to nearby stables and fields with others evacuated to fellow dressage rider Roland Tong's Castle Farm yard nearby on the Hampshire/Wiltshire border.
The equestrian centre was not damaged in the fire.
Ms Ross-Davies was the highest placed British team rider at the 2007 European Championships, helping Team GB qualify for the Beijing Olympics and was the non-travelling reserve for the 2008 Games.
A columnist with Horse magazine, the 39-year-old only took over the lease on the yard in the picturesque village in January of this year.
On her website www.altogetherequestrian.com she confirmed that all horses and the yard were safe and paid tribute to those who helped.
"To see such devastation is simply heartbreaking, but I would just like to thank my team, friends and neighbours for their incredible composure and help this morning."
"The horses and yard are safe and have all been evacuated. No one has been hurt and all the horses have been moved to safety."
Some 60 firefighters from across the region attended the blaze - half a dozen crews from Wiltshire and Hampshire were present along with two water carriers from Ramsbury and Wilton as well as a special incident command vehicle from Devizes.
It is understood that the fire quickly spread to the roof and also affected two other floors in the house.
Cholderton residents rallied to help the emergency services and the village hall was opened.
Traffic in the area was disrupted throughout the day as the A338 was closed in both directions from the Parkhouse Roundabout to Grateley Road to enable emergency services deal with the fire.
The road remained closed overnight.