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On Course Medics – Phumelela Respond

Additional steps now introduced

Phumelela Gaming has moved to allay concerns about the provision of medical services at Turffontein.


This follows certain matters being brought to the attention of Phumelela Gaming’s racing management after the unfortunate injuries recently suffered by jockeys Anthony Delpech and Gavin Lerena.

Phumelela Gaming said it would like to dispel misconceptions among the public.

The company said it was committed to the health and safety of participants in horseracing events at all its facilities, and released the following statement:

“Our Chief Medical Officer (CMO) is responsible for overseeing medical operating procedures and has close to 30 years direct experience as a Medical Doctor in the sport. The CMO is supported by a track-based medical team consisting of a Race Medical Doctor, Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedics, Registered Nurses, and an event ambulance crew staffed up to Intermediate Life Support (ILS) level.

In addition, all horse racing events are externally supported by Netcare 911 emergency medical services to provide transportation from the arena medical centre to pre-determined trauma facilities, including Netcare Milpark Hospital which is Level 1 accredited trauma centre.

Contrary to what has been reported in certain media publications, Phumelela Gaming continuously maintains and updates its medical operating procedures specifically according to the different racing events held around the country.

This s what we reported earlier this week

In general, these operating procedures provide for an ALS First Responder, a marked ILS event ambulance and a veterinarian vehicle to follow the pack. In the event of a rider coming off a horse, it is required that the event ambulance continues to follow the field while the First Responder, who as previously stated is well equipped, attends to the injured jockey.

This allows for preliminary treatment to be initiated while the event ambulance returns to the site of the fall. The event ambulance is then utilised to remove the injured jockey to the track-based medical facility where the patient can be fully examined by the designated Race Medical Doctor.

In the event that an injured jockey needs to be transferred to a hospital, an external emergency medical service provider is utilised with preference being given to Netcare 911. The medical operating procedures further provide for airlifting of critical injury cases by helicopter directly from the track.

Phumelela Gaming would like to reassure race participants, their families and spectators that the necessary measures are absolutely in place to provide for the medical treatment and care of injured jockeys.

Races are further monitored by CCTV in order to ensure the soonest possible detection of an incident, which is then reported to the medical teams via radio.

In the hope of advancing these assurances subsequent to the recent injury of Gavin Lerena and Anthony Delpech, additional steps have now been introduced to ensure the proper identification of all medical resources active on the track, including First Responders.

We wish the recently injured riders well in their recovery and thank those involved for raising their concerns with Phumelela Gaming.”

  • Press Release – Phumelela Gaming & Leisure

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10 comments on “On Course Medics – Phumelela Respond

  1. Loraine Karam says:

    Thanks for your response. i feel we should all just consider the welfare of our precious Jockeys, without them we don’t have racing.They will both recover, and be back in the saddle very soon. Strength to them and their loved ones, it is very sad to go through this, but God is Good and he spared them both, as they are capable of GREAT things to come. We Salute you both………… Paul & Loraine Karam

  2. Albert X. Beare says:

    I am disappointed with the Phumelela response. They must believe that we will swallow whatever they feed us. They state that they have top class medical assistance. They may as well have said that everyones complaints are nonsense. No answers have been given to the many genuine and worried complaints about the poor response times. Has the reader realised that the Phumelela response is that the jockeys can conitnue complaining and bleating and they will not make any changes.

  3. Candice says:

    “Misconceptions among the public” seriously we have experienced the total opposite of this response.This whole article is a lie.Ok so why was Anthony left on the ground for at least 5-7 minutes and the ambulance drove 400 meters past him.And why did the commentator have to ask twice for someone to get to Anthony on the ground,And why was he not looked at by a trauma doctor,and why was he not airlifted as he was critical with neck and spine injuries, and why was his discharged by the casualty doctor at Millpark Hospital,and why was he not put in ICU.He was mm away from being a quadriplegic so don’t try cover up what happens on Saturday, and 3 accidents in 3 different provinces,seriously how dare you !!!!!

  4. Annie2 says:

    Just as in the press release about those beautiful trees at Kenilworth Racecourse, Phumelela come up with another genius press release. Have you noticed how their press releases quote no names? Have you noticed how their press releases have no tone of remorse or empathy? Have you noticed how their press releases defensively refer to ‘other media’ ? The Sporting Post has been stating for months and months that approaches have been made to Phumelela, to Gold Circle and the NHA, for furnishing of a race day medic protocol document. There has been NO response as the Sporting Post has stated. To now attempt to patronize the Delpech and Lerena families with a half baked defense, smacks of ineptitude and management operating in an ivory tower bubble! Shame on the whole lot of you drawing fat cat salaries from this industry. Shame on you!

  5. Pops says:

    On Tellytrack Friday Alistair Cohen said he has used the medical facilities at Turffontein and the Vaal and the medical facilities are as good as a hospital.

  6. Wayne Fouche says:

    What a lot of absolute drivel! Answer the questions please. Why was the response so slow? Why was the ambulance in front of the horses instead of behind them? And all of the other questions too.

  7. Rian says:

    Phumelela response is again pathetic, what happened Sat was a Shambles
    What would have happened if there was a multiple accident involving more jockeys and horses, god forbid
    Where was the Doc at the time of accident????
    Was he in so called radio contact with ambulance ??????
    The Show Must Go On regardless,
    Lets get them on a show and label them LOSERS OF THE YEAR

  8. Kim says:

    Sorry but this response, whilst great in theory, isn’t an accurate depiction of what is happening in reality. Phumelela needs to recognize that there needs to be a pragmatic and systematic approach to medical emergencies that deal with all cases in a medically professional and clinically effective way, and which give jockeys the best chance of a positive outcome. To be clear, I am NOT questioning your Course Medical Doctor. My question is focused squarely on your first responders and paramedics; their respective scopes of practice are completely different so it’s not the same thing. Your first responders are not skilled in ALS and neither are they equipped. Had they been, both Lerena and Delpech would have received the emergency treatment they needed. Why did Lerena not receive oxygen when his sats were around 70? They should be above 90. Why was he not immobilized as clinical protocol dictates with any trauma to the head/brain? Was a medical report even written up by your ALS team? What did they say on this report? What were the jockeys’ GCS scores? What were their vitals? Can you make this report available to the public that demonstrates that effective clinical practice was undertaken at every point? Why did your first Responder takes so long to get to both jockeys? What about all the falls on the past? The fact is, your first responders are NOT up to scratch despite what you may say. Another question: the fact that jockeys have to wait for Netcare 911 makes zero sense to me when every second counts. A proper ambulance and a proper ALS team has to be onsite to properly respond there and then. And that’s it. Any other scenario does not make sense. You need to free up budget to ensure that you have proper emergency care available to everyone. A source once said that if a punter suffered a heart attack and a jockey fell off a horse at the same time, there would be no way that the paramedics on course could deal with both incidents in an clinically appropriate manner. Phumelela sorry, but here you are wrong. Pay for better ALS services for our jockeys. You can’t spin your way around this one. The end.

  9. Brian says:

    I have not read all the response thoroughly but I don’t think I need to.

    Phumelela have not answered one simple question. What have they done to respond to the jockey lying on the ground within a minute.

    That is the answer we are all asking. Please could we have that answer.

  10. Donna Hirse says:

    What a disappointing response This is the 3rd serious accident in Gauteng Chase Maujean, Gavin Lerena and Anthony Delpech but we just get words. We are not mushrooms – you cant keep us in the dark and feed us manure! Actions speak louder than words so now YOU will be scrutinised to ensure YOU follow the correct protocol

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