Racing heavyweight says horse deaths will not impact Launceston Cup

The Launceston Cup will not be impacted by the death of 16 horses in transit, Tasmanian Turf Club chief executive officer Peter Scott says.

His comment followed the deaths of the horses, which were travelling from Tasmania to New South Wales in January after competing in the Barnbougle Polo.

Mr Scott said the deaths had been discussed by the horse racing industry in the lead up to the Launceston Cup on February 28.

“It’s the last thing we want to see happen to any industry.”

An investigation is being conducted by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, supported by veterinary authorities in Victoria and New South Wales.

Industry members planned to wait for the findings to come out about what happened as a lot of details remained uncertain, he said.

“They’re doing a very in-depth investigation into how it occurred.”

Mr Scott said the investigation would help how any potential risks could be mitigated.

At present, no interstate horse had been removed from the line up because of the incident, he said.

“Everyone is raring to go for the Cup.”

Eight of the horses entered in the Launceston Cup, about half the field, travelled from interstate for the races

The horses would be regularly monitored with checks in place for their health and safety, he said.

He was confident with the safeguards put in place to protect horses while they were being transported to and from events.

Many of the horses taking part in the Launceston Cup were already in Tasmania to compete in other races, he said.

A DPIPWE spokesman said the investigation into the polo horses deaths was ongoing and more information was not available until the findings were released.

No date has been set to release the findings.

Barnbougle Golf and Polo owner Richard Sattler previously told The Examiner it was a truly tragic loss and his thoughts were with all involved.

“They loved those horses like children,” Mr Sattler said.

The horses left the property looking relaxed and well after a week of rest following the polo, he said.

The Spirit of Tasmania was found to have complied with the requirements for proper carriage of livestock.