Just days before the shocking attack on Eric Sands at the Milnerton Training Centre, a female Assistant Trainer has recounted how she was assaulted in Barn 4 at the same complex.
Port Elizabeth-based Michele Turner contacted the Sporting Post to register her dismay at the news of the attack on Eric Sands, suggesting that it happened ‘just days’ after she had reported her own incident and thus ‘should surely never have been allowed to happen’.
“I was busy tending to a sick horse in Barn 4 just days before the Sands incident when a Groom that is known to me entered the area and attempted to strangle me. I am fortunate that he was apparently intoxicated and fairly small in stature and I thus managed to fend him off. I screamed and our Grooms thankfully came to my aid. I was very lucky to come out of the attack unscathed,”recounted the Assistant Trainer, who said that she only felt safe at Milnerton if she was accompanied and armed.
She said that Kenilworth Racing Security had responded quickly and provided assistance to her throughout her stay. She said that she was thus puzzled by Eric Sands’ unfortunate incident.
“Kenilworth Racing were quick to my assistance. But the fact is that nothing appears to have improved in reality. The wall between the retail area at Royal Ascot and the Dean Kannemeyer Barn 1 is so low anybody can jump over. The irony is that the very same Groom that attacked me also returned hours later and tried to attack his colleagues. I feel sorry for the personnel that work at Milnerton – that’s Grooms and Trainers. It’s not safe.”
Ms Turner lamented the non reaction of the SAPS.
“We reported the incident immediately. The police just simply never arrived. I went and laid charges at Milnerton SAPS myself,” she said as she urged the Sporting Post to publicise her and Eric Sands’ experience to the racing community as a warning to exercise extreme care at Milnerton.