Smoke continues to waft from a stable block at Levin Showgrounds that was destroyed by a suspicious fire this morning.
Bent and warped corrugated iron that was the roof is now at ground level, and what was left of the framework is now just charcoal with embers from the fire still smouldering.
Hours earlier the fire lit the sky and acted like a beacon to a group of onlookers. The heat from the blaze could be felt by neighbouring properties metres away, although none suffered damage.
The 30-horse stable block only recently had its roofing iron replaced and was a purpose-built building, with high walls and doors so that it was able to house stallions at the annual January show.
Some horses that used the facilities each year were worth more than $200,000.
It was a huge blow for the Levin AP&I committee, who owned the building independently, as the stable block was used regularly by the Horowhenua Riding Club and an adult riding club.
Levin AP&I Showground manager Jo Roberts said it was devastating news before their 144th annual show early next year. They would need to have it replaced in time for the show.
"We are really disappointed. It is extremely well used and a community asset. It was never dormant," she said.
"It's very disappointing for our members...there will be a cost involved in replacing it."
The scene was cordoned off and remained under police guard. Fire investigators were due onsite this morning to determine to cause, before contractors were would begin to remove the iron.