A worker at Riccarton Park Racecourse escaped serious injury on Saturday when a horse race began while he was still in front of the starting gates.
Thoroughbred Racing chief steward, Cameron George, says the man was struck by a horse, but was not hurt.
He says this type of incident is very rare.
Mr George says race starters take all precautions to ensure the safety of all jockeys, horses and people assisting them at the barriers.
He says this is just a very unfortunate incident that occurred.
The agency says the incident is being investigated.