16 horses die travelling from Tasmania to the Mainland | News and Stories | Horse Deals - Free Riding NZ

16 horses die travelling from Tasmania to the Mainland | News and Stories | Horse Deals

Light Up Your Life with Alycia Burton. Southern Highland-NSW
February 5, 2018
Alycia Burton & Goldrush schooling Feb 2018
February 12, 2018

This is simply TRAGIC. My heart breaks for these owners and I hope the company now changes its practices.

I spent the month of January in Tasmania. I had booked my two horses to come with me on the Ferry while I was teaching in the state and giving night talks to local pony clubs.

After asking the company numerous questions I found out that in the entire Ferry journey (10+ hours) in the Australian summer heat. There were no cooling fans below, I was not allowed to check on them, water them or feed them so I cancelled my horses booking and found someone to look after them in Melbourne while I was gone.

I was not prepared to take the risk of them overheating below deck or them getting hurt and no one knowing about it for hours.

We would not leave an adult or a child or this duration…. So why are they allowing it to happen to animals??? “Because that’s the way we have always done it ”

There were a handful of people who were extremely offended and rude to me that they did not get to see Goldrush in TAS (even though it was clearly advertised he would not be there) even after I explained my reasoning of putting his welfare first.


Owners please always ask the questions

I really hope this does not happen again, my sincerest condolences to the owners ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

****** This post is not to lay blame or to try ruin anyone. Whats done is done and its a tragic loss. It is for EVERYONE (Companies, Owners, Carriers, Random strangers) to take responsibility. As humans it is our job to make sure animals are safe and we are making good choices and rules to guard them. They do not have a voice- we do!

16 horses die travelling from Tasmania to the Mainland | News and Stories | Horse Deals

Sixteen horses that travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania in January died.



  1. Anonymous says:

    Good for you to go with your instincts. Could have been disastrous.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s awful.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good work Alycia for thinking of your fur baby’s needs

  4. Anonymous says:

    It makes NO SENSE that you cannot check on your animals during the journey!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well done Alycia !!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I am in shock reading this

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Alycia, I attended one of your talks in Tassie and immediately thought of you when I heard this story. Good on you for putting your horse first. x

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think sadly this was an accident, maybe preventable.

    It did coincide with one of the hottest and humid days most of us Tasmanians can ever remember.

    Thousands of horses travel on the spirit each year, without incident.

    Horse transport companies are able to check on horses during transit.

    It would be great if โ€˜everyoneโ€™ could check their livestock. Even if they have supervised times to check on them.

    Unfortunately this was a horrific incident and one would hope not foreseeable.

  9. Anonymous says:

    What is concerning is that on Sunrise this morning, the person they crossed over to said that the ferry had been checked and complied with all live animal transport requirements. How that is possible with no cooling and owners being unable to check on them is alarming ๐Ÿ˜•

  10. Anonymous says:

    How unbelievably terrible ๐Ÿ˜ž

  11. Anonymous says:

    Have any horses died previously or are these the first?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Horses have been travelling to and from Tasmania for many many years this way – without incident. – something disastrous and awful happened, but there may be more to this than we all know, and I do wish people would wait for the full story before commenting too much as a mob mentality can form for no reason. I’ve travelled many horses across the strait without incident and will continue to do so.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Absolute horrendous and I think this was during that heatwave with temps over 40 ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ’”๐Ÿ˜ฅ

  14. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Thatโ€™s disgusting Spirit of Tasmania!!! Good on you Alycia for sticking up for your horses and not allowing them to go through an ordeal like that. Just Awful

  15. Anonymous says:

    letโ€™s all wait for the outcome before condemning Spirit of Tasmania , the investigation will give answers as to why this happened

  16. Anonymous says:

    Good decision to keep Goldrush and Benson safe๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–
    Not good enough… that’s any animals die in these situations
    Maritime safely need to look at their criteria.. once upon a time animals were winched onto decks. Old ways not always appropriate

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