A New Zealand jockey died yesterday after sustaining head, spine, and lung injuries in a fall while schooling over hurdles.

Rebecca Peters, 31, was thrown from her six-year-old gelding when he clipped the top of the obstacle at Christchurch’s Riccarton racecourse. She hurtled into the ground and, despite receiving medical treatment at Christchurch Hospital, died shortly after midnight local time.

Canterbury Jockey Club racecourse manager Jim Langan said: “It’s a terrible, tragic accident. Our thoughts go out to her family”.

A New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) spokesman said that police were investigating the accident and had inspected the scene with NZTR officials.

Two seasons ago in New Zealand, a 16-year-old apprentice died when he was dragged along the turf under his horse for 900 metres after catching his foot in a stirrup iron.