Race officials in north west Sydney were forced to abandon a race meeting after one horse apparently died from heat exhaustion and two others collapsed.
Hoysted, an eight-year-old gelding, died after the third race on Thursday (30 January) at Hawkesbury race course according to Fox Sports, an Australian sports website.
Temperatures rose to 46 degrees Celsius and with humidity at between 18-20%, the conditions were considered so extreme race organisers cancelled the meeting.
Earlier in the day, two other horses collapsed but recovered after being treated by vets for heat exhaustion. A post mortem carried out on the dead horse revealed the cause of death was the result of a bleeding attack or cardiac arrhythmia.
Several jockeys complained about the conditions, and organisers fearing for the welfare of both horses and riders cancelled the meeting.
Hawkesbury Race Club chief executive Brian Fletcher said: “Under the circumstances there was no other course of action to take.”
Extra vets and supplies of intravenous fluids, in addition to hosing facilities were provided by organisers in anticipation of the high temperatures.
Acting chief steward Philip Dingwall told Fox Sports: “Every reasonable precaution was put in place prior to the meeting with horses and riders our paramount concern.
“The meeting was abandoned due to our concern for the welfare of the horses in the extremely hot conditions.”