A dead horse was dragged for more than a kilometre on Waikouaiti Beach, near Dunedin, by a training vehicle, prompting a complaint to the police and SPCA from a horrified onlooker.
Pat Brambor was walking near the beach on Saturday morning when she saw a ute pulling a trailer tethered with a team of horses at low tide.
She watched in horror as a horse in the middle was dragged behind the ute after the horse failed to take a corner at the northern end of the beach.
"As soon as it fell down it would not have taken long for it to die."
The trainer of the horse, Bruce Negus, of Waikouaiti, confirmed an investigation was under way, and blamed himself for the death of his two-year-old horse. "We put the horse on the jogger in the morning. It was dark and I put the wrong horse on. It wasn't an old, mature, educated horse at all. It was a young one."
He and his wife were animal lovers, were mortified by its death, and had notified Waikouaiti police.
Mrs Brambor said the driver, seemingly oblivious to the collapsed horse, continued driving the vehicle at pace towards Karitane - a distance of more than a kilometre.
She said she was "disgusted" and had pointed out the dead horse to the female trainer. She added that she would file a complaint with the SPCA.
Mrs Brambor questioned whether a two-person team should be used when training horses with vehicles.
- OTAGO DAILY TIMES