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Thoroughbreds Stolen From Philippi Rehoming Centre

Maximum Flo and Wavin' Flag

Maximum Flo and Wavin’ Flag

The Western Cape racing community was left reeling after two Thoroughbreds were stolen from a Philippi rehoming centre on Wednesday, 12th April.

Maximum Flo and 2014 Gold Cup winner Wavin’ Flag were removed from Jenny Millington’s THRC programme on the old Hyjo farm in Philippi.

With the news shared far and wide via social media, a cross-section of the local equestrian community pulled together along with the SPCA and SAPS stock theft unit to launch a wide-scale search. With a large bush racing meeting allegedly scheduled for the Cape Flats over Easter weekend, fears ran high that the horses had been stolen for illicit racing.

Those fears were confirmed when the horses were found on Friday, 14th April.  An exhausted and emotional Jenny Millington explained, “The horses were located with the help of a drone and found in an area of bush in the Mitchells Plain area.  They weren’t even tied up, but were just too tired and sore to move.  Flag could still walk onto the box by himself, but we needed about 10 people to carry Max onto the box and it was clear he was not in a good way.”

The horses were returned home to THRC where they received veterinary attention.  “They’d obviously been galloped into the ground,” says Jenny.  “Their mouths had had wires through them and were bleeding and you could see straightaway that Max’s leg did not look good.”  X-rays revealed that Maximum Flo had sustained serious injuries, including fracturing his sesamoids beyond repair and due to the extent of his injuries, the decision was made to euthanise him humanely.  “He didn’t stop eating the whole time he was back and it broke all our hearts to have to put him to sleep, but it was the right thing to do.”

“Flag is very stiff and sore and his legs are very swollen,” continued Jenny, “but he is as comfortable as possible.  Snaith Racing have kindly lent us some ice boots which have been a great help.”

Jenny expressed her gratitude to everyone that assisted.  “I just want to say thank you to everybody that came.  I couldn’t have done this without their help.  The support has been absolutely mind-blowing.”

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9 comments on “Taken

  1. philip du toit says:

    Surely and without delay the racing community aswell as the racing athourities and especially ex owners of these horses can atleast put a couple of rands together to upgrade the facilities at hiyjo to secure these horses and heroes of the track!

    1. Editor says:

      Well said Philip

    2. Heletta Marais says:

      Phillip I can not agree with you more. Surely a safer environment could be found for the horses and the people who care for them!

  2. Lindsey Thomas says:

    And something must be done to put an end to this barbaric bush racing! People knew that the race was planned for the Easter weekend… why was nothing done to stop it?

  3. That’s right Lindsey, and the bush racers knew where to get the horses as well.

    Look carefully Western Province Racing and the Horseracing Trust, look carefully, they are there.

    Just offer a facilitation fee for information and all will be discovered. Think about the innocent horses and not the budgets/costs.

    William Milkovitch

    1. James George says:

      Did some pro jockeys and trainers not start out with bush racing?

  4. Sugahorse says:

    James – I think there are various types of bush racing we need to discern between. “Official bush racing” like in northern Natal and the WC West Coast where there are vets and officials.
    And then there is the underground type bush racing. Not much different to the dog fighting world.
    They don’t need official race tracks – they merely gallop their horses along the tar roads. Races are not made official and the outside world are only made aware once this is all over already.

  5. Tanya Checkley says:

    i agree,,,these horses work their hearts out for all and deserve to be in a safe place before moving on to their forever home. Jenny does an amazing job (actually it is not a job to her as she is so passionate about the horses – it is a way of life). She and the horses deserve a decent, safe place where they can rest easy and do the horses the justice that they so deserve. Perhaps the powers that be in the racing industry can think of something or some way to assist in the rental of a farm/property that can accommodate and ensure the security of these precious animals, Jenny and all the wonderful people who assist her.

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