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Durban July Equine Specimens Mystery

Alleged hijacking on N2

The National Horseracing Authority regrets to inform the public of the unfortunate happenings with regards to the courier services carrying the raceday specimens of the Vodacom Durban July day racemeeting.

On Saturday 7 July 2018, sometime after 21h30 the courier service vehicle, which was transporting the post-race equine specimens taken after every race on the day, from Greyville Racecourse, was pulled over on the N2 freeway by an unmarked white VW Golf 7.

This unmarked vehicle had a flashing blue light as well as a PA system. The driver assumed that it was a police vehicle and followed their instructions to pull over. The driver was ordered to get out of the courier vehicle and told to lie down on the ground.

Three plain-clothed males alighted from the unmarked white vehicle and proceeded to rob the driver of his personal effects, including his wallet and cell phone. The three men also accessed the courier vehicle and removed all the sealed boxes containing the raceday specimens.

They then left, leaving the vehicle and driver at the scene. The courier service has opened a criminal case at the Westville Police Station.

On Sunday 8 July 2018 at 11h30, a woman was walking in the Pigeon Valley Nature Reserve in Glenwood, Durban, to visit family members who stayed in the vicinity.

On the pathway she found the specimen boxes, which had been forced open, with the specimens still inside. She then noticed that there was information on the boxes which stated “Greyville 7/7/2018”. On her return to the area a few hours later, she saw that the boxes had disappeared.

The courier company is waiting for the case number to be assigned.

Ed – the NHA press release does not make any reference to a back-up set of specimens. We have enquired whether this exists.

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6 comments on “Durban July Equine Specimens Mystery

  1. Editor says:

    On our inquiry as to whether there are two seperate sets of specimens kept independent of each other, NHA CEO Mr Lyndon Barends advises that they are only split upon arrival at the Laboratory.

  2. Roderick Mattheyse says:

    undoubtedly there will be a protocol change now, once the horse has literally bolted.

  3. Mashie says:

    What’s the bet that the robbers mistook the silver boxes to be full of cash and not urine/blood samples.
    Roderick – what is your proposed method to get samples from the course to the JHB lab?

  4. Debby Vogt says:

    How terrible now we will never know if there was substance abuse ? But I am sure that everyone was honest and they must have thought there was money in the boxes …

  5. Ian Jayes says:

    Samples have been stolen from the NHA offices in the past and films have disappeared.

    1. karel says:

      can you be more specific?
      stolen when? films of what?
      it really doesn’t help being vague in your accusations

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