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The Spirit of Tasmania operator TT-Line is being sued for negligence over the death of 16 prized polo ponies that crossed Bass Strait in January.

Former captain of the Australian polo team and national polo identity Andrew Williams lodged the writ in the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday against TT-Line Company and logistics company QUBE Holdings Limited.

The ponies died on a horse float that had been driven by Mr Williams and had crossed Bass Strait after competing at Tasmania’s premier polo event at Barnbougle, in the state’s north-east.

The civil claim, seen by the ABC, alleges the ponies died between boarding the ferry at Devonport for the 7:30pm departure to Melbourne and about 2:00am.

Mr Williams alleges TT-Line and QUBE Holdings caused the death of the ponies by failing to provide a safe environment, adequate checks and airflow for the animals while on the ship.

Mr Williams, his partner Rebecca Ann Williams, Twynam Agricultural Group and Willo Polo pony mangers are seeking $639,000 for loss of the horses and $100,000 for loss of profits and wages.

The writ claims TT-Line was negligent as they failed in their duty of care over the horses whilst aboard the Spirit of Tasmania …

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