Racehorse trainer crushed to death by horsebox ramp

A trainer has died after getting stuck under the ramp of a horse transporter in New Zealand yesterday (Monday 2 February).

Steve Anderton, 43, was found seriously injured by colleagues at his yard in Wingatui shortly after 6am.

Constable Jason Braid told local press that it appeared that the hydraulics of Mr Anderton’s transporter had “malfunctioned” while he prepared the ramp to load horses to take them to a local racecourse for training.

It has been reported that the ramp landed on Mr Anderton’s chest, puncturing both his lungs and restricting his breathing

Mr Anderton was taken to Dunedin Public Hospital by ambulance in a critical condition. His wife, Claire, and two children were reportedly flown to Dunedin by helicopter from Te Anau, where they had been on holiday.

His life support machine was switched off today (3 February).

Senior Sergeant Ben Butterfield said the death had been referred to the coroner.

“The family have asked for privacy at this difficult time and will not be making any public comment,” he added.

Southland Racing Club president Sean Bellew said Mr Anderton’s death had shocked the industry.

A minute’s silence has been planned and jockeys will wear black armbands at tomorrow’s Southland Racing Club meeting at Ascot Park.

“It’s so sad what’s happened. The club will certainly show respect and pay tribute to him,” Mr Bellew added.

Otago Racing Club chief executive Andre Klein also paid tribute to the trainer when he heard of the accident.

“Steve is regarded as one of the most professional trainers and a great bloke as well a really, really good guy,” he said.

Mr Anderton made his name as trainer with The Jewel who won the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas in 2002 and the Group One International Stakes at Te Rapa.

He trained for eight seasons with his father Hec and also spent six years working for stables in Australia.

Since his father’s retirement he had trained on his own for the past nine seasons and in total had more than 160 winners.