We hate bringing you these sad stories, but the fact of the matter is, we can all learn from these tragedies. The latest is a horse racing trainer named Steve Anderton. Steve, who was only 43 years old, was found trapped and injured under a horse truck ramp two days ago. The horse truck ramp was hinged to the truck and served as a door when it was in an upright position. He was getting ready to lower the ramp in order to load some horses into the truck (which he owned) when apparently the ramp hydraulics malfunctioned. They rushed Anderton to the hospital in critical condition, but he did not survive the injuries.
Unfortunately we don’t have exact details about how or why the hydraulics failed, but we are left to surmise that the ramp essentially crushed Anderton. It’s hard to say “don’t ever stand in front of the door to a horse truck or box”, but there are a few things we can do to avoid this type of situation from happening again. For starters, regularly check the hinges on your trucks, boxes, and trailers. If you do have a ramp or door with hydraulics, make sure there is fluid in the hydraulic system and that there are no leaks. Check all the bolts and thru fittings as well. When you are lowering a door or ramp, if possible, do it from the side, rather than directly in front of the door or ramp. Even trailers with “half doors” can come down fast and hard. If you have a small child or horse in front when you’re lowering it, they can get seriously injured.
While we are talking about horse trucks, boxes, and trailers, it’s a good time to remind everyone not to stand directly behind a horse that is being loaded in. Many horses will resist going in to a trailer, box, or truck and may become agitated. That’s exactly when they can kick out. We already read about the woman who died while clipping her horse because he spooked and kicked out. As well as you think you know your horse(s), they can be very unpredictable. Do not let your guard down and always remember your safety first!
For those interested, a link to the story about Steve Anderton’s accident can be found here.