Sonya is a social issues reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Racing sees jockeys injured, horses put down

Two horses had to be put down and three jockeys were injured after a day of racing in Rotorua.

The first three races of the Rotorua and Bay of Plenty Hunt Club's annual September jumping race on Wednesday at the Arawa Park racecourse were met with chaos as horses fell on the rain-soaked track.

Racing Integrity Unit general manager Mike Godber said it was unusual to have so many incidents on one day.

"There were three jockeys injured on the day, one ended up in hospital with non life threatening injuries. When a jockey is injured they are assessed to see whether they can continue racing or whether they are stood down. All three were stood down but they're okay now."

He said interestingly enough, the rider of the first horse that fell was uninjured. The horse had to be euthanised.

In race two, there were two jockeys injured when a number of horses fell and they suffered some bruising. The second horse to be put down fell in race three and the jockey was also injured. The jockeys were from the Waikato, Hastings and Stratford.

Mr Godber said there were always two vets and a staffed ambulance present at jumping races in case of an accident.

He said with about 4000 races in New Zealand in any given year, there would be a handful of horses each year that are put down, so to have two in one day was unusual.

"In these two cases the horses weren't able to be saved so had to be humanely put down. It is surprising to have a horse die on a race day, to have two is just an unfortunate coincidence. In the end, it's a great sport. It's like all higher level sports, they all have an element of danger."

He said there was no fault with the Rotorua track, which was known as a good track.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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