Racehorse jumps barriers into crowd, injuring seven spectators

  • Not satisfied with the size of the jumps on the course, Australian racehorse Banna Strand, leapt over the barrier at the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool carnival in Victoria (May 5).

    The seven-year-old gelding lost jockey Rowan Waymouth before veering to the left of the hurdle, during the first lap of the 33-fence course.

    Leaping the 2m brush fence into an unexpected crowd of about 50 people, the horse then careered into the streets of Warrnambool before being picked up by police.

    Seven people were injured, with three being held in hospital over night.

    The fence had reportedly been put up four years ago to corral loose horses.

    Warrnambool Racing Club chairman John Green told local press it was likely spectators would be restricted from that area at future races until an investigation was carried out.

    “It’s unfortunate that this horse chose to jump a fence that had been installed a number of years ago as a means of trying to corral these horses,” said Mr Green.

    The incident comes at a unfortunate time for steeple chasing in Australia, with Victoria the last state to allow it.

    Racing Minister Denis Napthine has asked Racing Victoria to conduct an inquiry into today’s events and review spectator safety.

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