A freak transporting accident has claimed the life of New Zealand racehorse trainer Steve Anderton.
Anderton was injured on his property at Wingatui, near Dunedin, on Monday as he was loading horses from his truck when he was apparently struck by the side-loading float ramp after a hydraulic failure.
Anderton, 44, was found at about 6am by staff, who alerted emergency services. It is understood the ramp landed on his chest, puncturing his lungs and affecting his breathing,
Constable Jason Braid told the ODT that the ramp was hinged to the truck and served as a door in an upright position. He said the ramp hydraulics appeared to have “malfunctioned” when Anderton was preparing to lower the ramp to load horses to go to Wingatui Racecourse for training.
Anderton’s life support was switched off on Tuesday afternoon.
The accident has been referred to the coroner and WorkSafe New Zealand is also conducting an investigation, Constable Braid said.
First licensed in the 1992-93 season, Anderton began his career in a partnership with his father Hec and together they prepared the outstanding racemare The Jewel.
She was the dual Group One winner of the New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton and the International Stakes at Te Rapa.
The O’Reilly mare’s stellar three-year-old season also included second placings in the in the NZ 2000 Guineas and the NZ Oaks.
She later went to Brisbane where she won the Gr.3 Doomben Roses and finished in the money in both the Queensland Oaks and the Derby.
The Jewel was bred and raced by the Dennis brothers and Steve Anderton’s association with the Woodlands identities continued through Group performers The Solitaire, The Glizty One and The Diamond One.
Anderton trained from 1993 to 2005 with his father, and took over the reins on his own account after Hec’s retirement.
Steven John Anderton is survived by his wife, Claire, and two young children.
Anderton’s stakes-winning mare The Diamond One has been nominated for one of the feature events, the Gr.3 White Robe Lodge Handicap, at the Otago Racing Club’s Champions’ Day meeting at Wingatui on Friday. It has been reported that The Diamond One and two other horses will remain in Anderton’s name for the meeting.