Five harness racing drivers were taken to hospital in New Jersey after a bizarre track accident in which the starting car lost control and slid into the path of the horses.
The horses involved in Friday’s accident were reported by Freehold Raceway to be OK.
The accident happened seconds after the start of race five at the Freehold Borough track, the oldest raceway in the United States.
The seven-horse field got under way in the race on the wet surface.
However, as the car pulling the mobile barrier pulled to the outside of the track on the first bend, its rear wheels slid outwards and the car drifted sideways into the path of the oncoming horses. Several of the horses tangled with the folded barrier arms on the car.
“We have an accident on the track, we have an accident on the track,” the race caller declared as the carnage unfolded. “Hold all tickets. We have loose horses on the track.”
Freehold’s general manager, Howard Bruno, said: “The first four races were completed without incident.
“We hadn’t seen anything in the prior races that gave us cause for concern leading up to the fifth race,” he added.
The drivers taken to hospital were Cat Manzi, Debra Rucker, Vincent Ginsburg, Chris Scicluna and Jim Pantaleano.
The race card was declared a “no contest” and the balance of the eleven-race card was cancelled.