Dogs attack horses at racecourse

Mr David Jewell, the CEO of the Wyong Race Club, has confirmed details associated with a horse attack incident that took place in the Club’s stabling area on December 29, 2017, is before Racing NSW.

According to Mr Jewell, just after 7am on December 29, three uncontrolled dogs appeared in the stabling area and harassed two horses in the stalls before being chased away and captured by racecourse staff and the police who attended. Filly, Eyes to Heaven, owned by Mr Gary Leafe, was one of the horses involved. Mr Jewell said that during the incident, Eyes to Heaven “got away from her handler in the stalls area and was pursued by the dogs. “The horse suffered a significant injury to its shoulder. “No one actually witnessed how the injury was incurred. “The other horse suffered a minor leg wound,” Mr Jewell said. “Central Coast Council animal officers who were called by the Police, subsequently tracked down the owner of the dogs. “The dogs were removed from the owner. “The Racing Club is likely to take legal action against the owner of the dogs, as it is the owner who is legally liable for the dogs being loose and subsequently attacking the horses on our property,” Mr Jewell said.

Mr Leafe said Eyes to Heaven was set to make a full recovery but is seeking compensation for training and feed bills he paid for prior to the incident. “Horses should be safe on a racecourse from a pack of dogs,” Mr Leafe said. The matter is now before Racing NSW, with Mr Jewell confirming the matter was being reviewed and would hopefully be resolved before March. “The question of compensation is with Racing NSW and our insurers, and our understanding is that this should be resolved in the next few days. “RNSW has already made a financial contribution to Mr Leafe’s veterinary costs following the incident,” Mr Jewell said. The question of how the dogs managed to enter the racecourse remains unclear, but Mr Jewell speculates that they either followed a vehicle in through an electronic gate or entered through a service gate. “The Club has investigated the incident providing a full report to RNSW and our insurers. “It is unclear how the dogs entered the stabling area, which is fully fenced and secured, as is required of all Racing Clubs so as to contain horses within the stabling area (where the dogs appeared).” Mr Jewell explained. “There is an electronic gate to allow access for vehicles and horse floats to the stabling area. “There is a secure 2.4m boundary fence around the entire racecourse precinct, but there are other vehicle access gates well away from the actual stabling area itself that is locked at night but open during the day for service delivery vehicles, staff and so on,” he added. This is the first incident of its kind to have ever occurred at the Club and Mr Jewell said personnel were now reviewing procedures in an effort to improve security. “The Club’s fencing and stabling facilities are of a high standard and the racecourse and stabling precinct are designed with the safety of horses in mind. “With around 80 people working in the stabling area from 4am most mornings during track work hours, and with floats and vehicles coming and going through the electronic gates, there is a high level of activity, and it is difficult to see what more can be done to ‘lock down’ the venue completely, but we will be seeing what more can be done to keep the area secure,” Mr Jewell said.

Source: Interview, Feb 16 David Jewell, Wyong Race Club Dilon Luke, Journalist

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