Family to receive damages after racehorse incident

  • Leading Australian racehorse trainer Gai Waterhouse and the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) are to pay damages to a mother and daughter after an incident in which they were kicked through their windscreen by a runaway horse.

    The incident occurred in January 2001 when two-year-old Honour And Strength slipped from the grasp of handlers and fled Sydney’s Randwick racecourse onto a busy public road. The horse tried to jump over Natalie Petrovic’s car, but failed to make it and was left straddling the roof with its legs flailing. Ms Petrovic and her mother sustained injuries after they were struck by its hooves which penetrated the front windscreen.

    In his judgement, New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Peter Hidden said the pair had suffered distress, sleeplessness, withdrawal and depression, as well as less serious physical injuries.

    He added: “I have no doubt that this accident was a terrifying experience for Ms Petrovic, in which she feared for her mother’s life and her own.”

    Ms Waterhouse and the AJC admitted liability, but contested the level of injury claimed. The amount of damages to be paid to the claimants has yet to be decided, but it is thought it could be more than AUS$1 million.

    The horse was put down after the incident.

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