A Kembla Grange thoroughbred trainer is fighting for his life after being found unconscious at a property near the racecourse on Sunday afternoon.
Erwin Takacs, 63, was understood to have been swimming a horse in a Kembla Grange pool used to exercise gallopers when he was involved in a mysterious accident.
Emergency services were contacted around 1.30pm, but it is believed there were no witnesses to the incident.
The horse was later found loose in a street nearby the property with the swimming pole used to lead it in the pool still attached to it.
Mr Takacs was found shortly after and rushed to Wollongong Hospital to treat his injuries, including bleeding within the skull.
He was operated on at Wollongong Hospital on Sunday night and remains on life support.
‘‘The last update is he’s in a critical condition and he’s on life support,’’ Racing NSW’s safety officer Maurice Logue said.
‘‘He was swimming a horse at a swimming pool located at Kembla Grange. His horse was caught with the swimming pole still attached to it. Then they found Erwin unconscious near the swimming pool.’’
Lake Illawarra police acting Inspector Steve Worthington said detectives were looking into the how the trainer sustained the significant head injuries.
‘‘Detectives from Lake Illawarra are trying to ascertain the exact cause (of the injury),’’ Insp Worthington said.
‘‘It’s possible that he may have been kicked or dragged by the horse as he was exercising (it) and that’s what we’re following up.’’
Early investigations suggest there is nothing suspicious about the incident, though Insp Worthington urged anyone with information to call Lake Illawarra police.
Mr Takacs trains a small team at Kembla and came close to winning the Illawarra Turf Club’s Horse of the Year crown with gusty filly Judaea last season.