Driver towing horse float fails to stop for Waikato Police

Driver towing horse float fails to stop for Waikato Police


Please attribute to Senior Sergeant Philip Ruddell, Waikato Police

At about 6.37pm this evening, police received a driving complaint about an intoxicated man swerving a car towing a horse float containing two horses. 

Police continued to receive complaints about the manner of driving of this man while looking for the vehicle.

When the police located the car they indicated for the driver to pull over on Killarney Road.

The pursing police officers, signalled  for the driver to stop with red and blue flashing lights only initially, but did not use sirens so as not to frighten the horses in the horse float.

The driver acknowledged Police, however chose not to stop.

Police followed the vehicle with lights for a short time during which time a Police vehicle was rammed and considerable damage was sustained to the patrol car.

The offending vehicle continued through Te Rapa where road spikes were deployed and this punctured both front tyres of the vehicle.

The vehicle and float eventually came to a stop just before the Te Rapa Road and SH1 Interchange.  The driver was then taken into custody, believed to be under the influence of alcohol.

Police then attended to the needs of the two horses, one of which was very badly injured.

At a risk to themselves, Police removed the un-injured horse from the horse float into a neighbouring paddock and then contacted a local vet to attend to the injured horse still inside the float.

During the process, with the use of the fire service, the injured horse was freed from the horse float, but a short time later died. 

This was a tragic and unforeseen outcome, due to the driver choosing to not to stop.

A 26-year-old man has been arrested on a number of theft charges relating the vehicles and the horses and will face further charges relating to the care and treatment of those horses and a number of driving-related charges.

He will be held in custody to appear in the Hamilton District Court tomorrow.

Police would like to thank the local resident who made his paddock available for Police use during the event, to Fire and Emergency New Zealand and to the local vet who attended immediately to try and save the life of the horse.

No member of the public was injured in this incident.


Issued by Police Media Centre

NOTE FOR MEDIA:  The owner of the horses would appreciate privacy on this occasion and ask that the media kindly respect this request.