THE former owners of an East Lancashire stables have lost a lengthy legal battle over the ownership of seven horses.

Panama Sports Horses (PSH), which supplied horses for the London 2012 Olympics and whose director was Carol Richardson, was wound up in April 2015 after a battle with its landlords, Gisburne Park Estates.

But the fate of seven horses stabled there - including racehorses and showjumpers - has been in limbo since at least October 2013.

Lloyd and Samantha Green insisted the racehorses and showjumpers - Sissy, Reece, Terry, Pimms, Simon, Emu and Buster - along with related equestrian equipment, belonged to them.

And county court judge Graham Platts agreed with them, awarding them ownership following a trial in 2016.

But PSH and its liquidators lodged a High Court appeal, insisting the judge’s ruling was perverse, in the circumstances.

The Greens insisted the racehorse Reece was legitimately acquired from either PSH or one of its former directors, Nick Savile, who was Mrs Richardson’s husband, the court heard.

Terry and Pimms were said to have come their way as repayment for a loan which the couple had made to PSH, the court was told, with a similar arrangement applying for showjumpers JB, Simon and Emu.

Stefan Brochwicz-Lewinski, on behalf of PSH, argued that, for example, Mrs Green had not mentioned advancing £12,000 to the company, in the case of the showjumpers, and had changed her evidence over whether Reece was actually bought from either Mr Savile or PSH.

Mr Justice Moulder, though, dismissed allegations that she had concocted a story about the loans, in order to thwart the liquidators.

Ruling in favour of the Greens and dismissing the appeal, he said: “The judge gave a clear and fully reasoned judgment which dealt with all the relevant issues and his conclusions have not been established in my view to be wrong or perverse.”

He told the court the trial judge had the advantage of weighing up the witnesses’ evidence as they were cross-examined.

The court heard the ownership of two other horses, JB and Curry, had been determined in PSH’s favour, at the original trial

An arson attack was carried out at the stables, which wrecked cars and caused an explosion in an office block, just days after the company went bust.