Investigation underway: Starting Gate worker injured at Riccarton Races

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Nov 17, 2022 |

An investigation is underway after a worker at Riccarton Races was injured, breaking his leg.

Chris Lynch Media understands a tractor towing starting gates on Monday (the postponed day of New Zealand Cup Day) didn’t see the worker who was crouched down on the ground and that’s when the accident happened.

Riccarton Park and Canterbury Jockey Club Chief Executive Tim Mills confirmed the incident took place.

“Yes there was an incident where one of the Starting Gate attendants suffered a broken leg at the races on Monday.

We are collating reports from those concerned and that is all we can say at this time” Mills said.

It’s understood staff were force to keep horses away from the area, in order to pull the man to safety.

A St John Ambulance spokesperson said they were notified at 3.30pm on the incident.

“An ambulance and a rapid response vehicle were called to the scene.

One person was taken to Christchurch hospital in a moderate condition.”

New Zealand Cup Day racing was postponed until Monday, due to dangerous track conditions on Sunday, when a horse slipped during the third race.

Meanwhile, Canterbury Jockey Club is providing a full refund to racegoers who purchased an entry ticket to New Zealand Cup Day.

However the Club is “appealing to all racegoers to consider not claiming a refund to help the Club out of a challenging financial situation resulting from the postponement.”

Chair of the Canterbury Jockey Club, Dianne Logie said yesterday that the postponement of last weekend’s racing was the first time this has happened in the 159-year history of Cup Day.

“The decision to stop racing was not made lightly, but the health and safety of our jockeys and horses always come first.

The New Zealand Cup is a major event on the racing calendar and one that we are very proud to run. We are devastated and sorry that we had to postpone racing at the weekend.”

Mills said that they are working with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing on a review of events leading to the postponement and will share the findings and implement any recommendations.

“Like most racing clubs we have had a rough few years due to Covid restrictions with restricted revenue from racegoers. We are very grateful to supporters who have said they had a great day and won’t be seeking a refund. While we are happy to provide a full refund, this will be a huge financial hit for the club.  

“Income from New Zealand Cup Day 2022 had already been earmarked to go towards replacement of the Grand National stand.  Every person not seeking a refund this year is supporting future New Zealand Cup Days, and we thank them for that.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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