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‘Politics The Real Hurdle’ – Mike de Kock

Hawwaam is good enough to take on the world

Former multiple champion trainer Mike de Kock, who watched the Gr1 SA Classic in Melbourne, Australia, said that his winner, Hawwaam, a son of Silvano and Halfway To Heaven, had given him gooseflesh.

Mike de Kock

“That’s the Hawwaam I know!” he enthused. Mike thanked Mathew de Kock and his home team and conveyed a special thanks to “Bomber” Nel, who helped to change Hawwaam’s bit to suit the colt.

Speaking on his website, www.mikedekockracing.com, Mike commented:

“We have a horse here that can take on the best in the world, but we are being held back by quarantine protocols. While we have everything in place we are desperate, with our caps in hand, for the European Union to inspect us, so we can show them what we have done, show them that the protocol is in place and that we can go and showcase our product to the rest of the world, including Hawwaam.

“Having trained Gr1 winners overseas I can tell you Hawwaam is good enough to race against the best, but we are being held back by politics, not science.  Politics is preventing South Africa, with our massive racing industry, to bring the world our thoroughbreds. We can breed world-class runners, but we can’t show them to the world because we can’t compete on a level playing field.”

Adrian Todd, MD of SAEHP (SA Equine Health and Protocols),” agreed with Mike and responded on Saturday night, saying: “We consulted with the world’s leading experts, improved our risk control measures, lobbied international industry and regulatory authorities and successfully conducted two privately funded pre-audits of our risk control measures.

“The final hurdle is obtaining an audit date from the EU. DAFF have requested that the EU conduct an audit of our control measures, however to date no commitment of an inspection date has been forthcoming from the EU.

Horse Export“We are pushing hard on all levels. We want the EU to come and inspect our progress and our disease control measures.

“South Africa is currently unable to export ANY animals or animal products to the EU. This is a low hanging fruit, we can showcase to the world the progress that has been made, and use this partnership as a blueprint for other industries in South Africa to show what can be achieved through a public/private partnership and working together towards a clear end goal for the benefit of all.

“Races like the SA Classic, once again prove the quality of South African racing, as an industry we are a major employer and a major contributor to the GDP. We are ready to export, we can now say for the first time we comply with all the standards. We need political assistance to push this once and for all over the line, so that SA may finally fully enter the world stage.

“Without exports, our industry will collapse, one final political push will provide our country with a flourishing export market and an influx of much needed foreign investment!”

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8 comments on “‘Politics The Real Hurdle’ – Mike de Kock

  1. This is SO true!!!

    Without wishing to sound overly dramatic – the future of the entire South African Thoroughbred breeding and racing industries are hanging in balance here!!

    The EU need to get this required ‘on site’ audit done while ‘the patient’ still breathes!

    Hopefully this story will be picked-up and run-with by the likes of The Racing Post;The TDN; The Blood Horse; etc – and that somebody – somewhere – who may have some influence with the EU ‘powers that be’, can get this now overdue audit diarised and in play – before it is too late!

  2. Steve Reid says:

    I’m not sure what all the impatience is about? Sweeney Todd has said he is trying to sort things out by June. Perusing the SP article on the matter, https://www.sportingpost.co.za/2019/02/sa-export-protocols-2/ I find it amusing that a year wasn’t added to that estimation. The great buyer of SA horseflesh makes a very pertinent comment at the end of the link that has proven to be deadly accurate over the years.

    Export protocols solutions, Steinhoff financial integrity, and snake oil salesmen. A match made in heaven for some. Best is, the industry funds this pipe dream.

  3. The Dark Duke says:

    Ban the import of foreign bloodstock until the playing fields are levelled

  4. Eric says:

    Its time that the industry lobbied government to intervene on racing’s behalf, if racing continues to suffer financially through the inability to trade on the international stage, many of the people employed by racing will be without a job adding to the government’s problems with the inability to provide employment .

  5. Deezo says:

    The government will not get involved in SA horseracing. It has not fulfilled its BEE targets and Politics are hindering transformation. We need to level our playing fields locally before conquering the world.

    1. karel says:

      Can you provide facts to back up your serious allegations.
      Or are you just making this up?

  6. Brian says:

    Who are you directing your question to Karel?

  7. alan says:

    we have heard all of these things before and we will here them next year with a new man at the helm. mr de kock is a great trainer but he is not controlling dubai or in sa for that matter like in previous years. we need to be realistic look at our graded races. how many of these horses would win grp races in dubai, england or europe. NOT TO MANY.
    get our own racing in order before all this pie in the sky dreams of selling hundreds of horses overseas. why do our trainers/ BLOOSTOCK AGENTS go buy overseas horses if ours are so fantastic. is it just for commissions. racing has just become HOLLYWOOD in south africa.

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