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NHA: The Horse Comes First

July day veterinary incidents - record set straight

The National Horseracing Authority reports that the organisation is aware of various media reports regarding veterinary incidents that occurred at the Vodacom Durban July race meeting on Saturday, 6 July 2019.

National Horseracing AuthorityTo set the record straight CAVIVAR received veterinary treatment immediately following Race 5, the Zulu Kingdom Explorer Golden Slipper (Grade 2), in which she finished in fourth position – she did not collapse during the race, but suffered from severe post-race distress. The Trainer of this horse gave credit to the veterinary treatment that was provided immediately following the race.

HAWWAAM was withdrawn immediately prior to the start of the Vodacom Durban July due to an unfortunate incident which does occur from time to time when one is dealing with highly strung thoroughbred animals.  A comment allegedly emanating from an anonymous trainer concerning the standard of the Handling Staff in Durban has absolutely NO merit and is totally baseless.

The NHA Veterinary Surgeon, Dr Roehann Sutherland made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw HAWWAAM after completing an inspection of the colt following the incident. The emotions and the body language displayed by this esteemed professional, speak volumes for his empathy for the horse and his thorough UNDERSTANDING of the effect his decision would have on all the stakeholders and interested parties. As much as the NHA  sympathises with the Operators and the connections of HAWWAAM, we are also proud to have such a person in our employ.

Horse welfare is top priority and this weekend’s incidents clearly highlight the fact that the horse comes first.

  1. Press release issued by NHA on Monday 8 July 2019

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24 comments on “NHA: The Horse Comes First

  1. Beverley Hibbert says:

    I am really so thrilled to see that the horse is put first in SA, not like in other countries. Congrats to NHRA for being so transparent about these sensitive issues. Yes, I am sure many many people were shattered at Hawaam being scratched, but at the end of the day, it is the HORSE that brings you the excitement, and they should always, ALWAYS be the first priority in any and all races, no matter whether it’s the richest, biggest race of the year, or a “backyard” race with very little prize money. I am proud to be a supporter of the NHRA and will continue to do so, and thank you, NHRA for putting these majestic animals who race their hearts out expecting nothing back, first.

  2. alesh says:

    thumps up to the vet. brave man. knows his job properlly. keep it up guy

  3. Paul says:

    All credit to the Vet for making the correct decision under extreme pressure. In the interests of equine welfare, we do – in my view – need to look at timeframes and circs surrounding the race: times, noise and delays in the buildup/singing of national anthem, etc Yes, only one horse appears to have been badly affected but could easily have affected others.

  4. Malcolm Draper says:

    Cavivar is not an it a thing she is a filly a sentient being please change it to she.

    1. Editor says:

      Good point Malcolm
      We have amended our side and passed on your point to the NHA

  5. Errol says:

    It was the only possible decision that could be made by the vet at the start. It was patently obvious that the horse was lame behind after kicking the pens. But Gold Circle must take the blame for the fiasco that has become the July! Firstly it is shocking that the July runners had to circle for at least 5-10 minutes before entering the pens whilst they had music & the national anthem sung. The anthem should be sung in the parade ring BEFORE the horses parade & the singing can be done at the beginning or at the end of the meeting. Gold circle clearly have zero consideration for the horse as they allow loud thumping music as night falls & to top it off they then have a baby race under the lights with the thumping noise. The poor 2 yr olds with limited experience obviously take fright & as an owner I know my horse Wave was not happy with the noise. Our jockey Warren Kennedy said he was a very reluctant runner coming out the pens which is unlike him. He took about 300m & seeing other horses around him before he got into the race. By this time he was near last & had given the favorite African Warrior a few lengths start. To his credit he flew at the end & only finished a length behind African warrior at the finish. But had the race been run earlier in the day, like it should have been , there could well have been a different result!

    Come on Gold Circle don’t let the parties spoil the July day which first and foremost is a racing event and have better consideration for the horses

  6. Paul says:

    Agreed with Errol. I do hope your horse Wave came back safe and with no long term resulting issues.

  7. Hein de Wit says:


  8. The Dark Duke says:

    You can never please some people it seems. Imagine clearing Hawwaam to run and he finished unplaced? What would have been said of the vet then?

  9. Echo says:

    Watching them “revive” Cavivar was quite something, I saw the green screens up and imagined the worst. They worked so quickly on her and it was rewarding to watch the filly get up and walk away eventually albeit shakily – everyone got stuck in to help her in the parade ring with hose pipes, water and drips.
    Roehann is a top man who never takes nonsense and puts the horse first. Well done all and thank you to the NHRA for their continued communication and transparency.

  10. Rian says:

    Can you imagine if Hong Kong had bet into our Pools!!!!!, maybe the NHA should explain to us why they dont.
    Well said Errol

  11. Brian says:

    The right thing was done. No matter what, it was the right thing to do

  12. Jaco says:

    If you had any respect for the racing public that the industry depend on, you would make sure that a horse such as Hawwaan would be properly trained ,prior to allowing him to start in a race.He have a history of disbehaving and not withstanding this fact you allow him into a race.

  13. Rennie Singh says:

    Please can someone explain why Betting World refuse to pay my bet. I have taken a all to come bet on Liverpool to beat Spurs all to go on Hawwaam. They say it’s a loosing bet.. pls help

    1. Editor says:

      If this was an ante post bet on Hawwaam it would be a losing bet unfortunately. This is as per ante post rules

  14. Ralph Fell. says:

    A contributing factor to a further delay of +- 5 minutes is the public being informed in a patronising manner by Peters that there would be a 5 minute delay to quote unquote ‘allow punters to restructure their bets.’ What bets? In the exoctics over 30 bar was invested so the majority are flunking for the tote favourite, and online punters will never have the time to ‘restructure’ a R12 trifecta. Does and grey matter exist amongst the operators?

  15. Ralph Fell. says:

    A contributing factor to further delay was Peters announcing, in a patronising manner, that quote unquote ‘the race would be delayed in order to give punters a chance to restructure their bets.’ Huh? Over 30 bar was wagered on exoctics where the majority of punters were flunking for the tote favourite, with no chance to ‘restructure.’ Was it to appease a punter wanting to ‘restructure’ a R12 boxed trifecta? Does grey matter exist amongst the operator’s staff?

  16. Rajan says:

    It was indeed sad to see the favorite scratched. However, the welfare of the horse does come first. Can anyone shed some light as to why Marcus did not ride at Turfontein on Sunday.

    1. Editor says:

      Medically indisposed

  17. Rishen dhaneelal says:

    The punter is the only loser . Hawaam will run and win again. Trainer , horse and owner live to fight another fight another. Bookies win on ante post betting , deductions and million tickets on Hawaam. Winning punters still get less whats they expecting to win ? Something to think about !

  18. Leon Smuts says:

    And that is why it is called gambling, there are no certainties, not in results and not in circumstances that can have a bearing. Most Tote punters would at least have got their money back and for exotic punters the new tote favourite won. Not ideal what happened but again raises awareness that we are dealing with live animals and not robots and that many factors are at play so be aware of the risks before placing a bet.

  19. Beverley Hibbert says:

    Jaco, you can school a horse as much as you like, but, like any athlete, they are subject to tension, noise, etc at any meet. Yes, Hawaam is clearly a temperamental horse, but I think the way his trainer works with him, sends him down earlier so he is away from all the noise, is fabulous. However, he is still a thinking, breathing creature who is keenly aware of what is happening around him, and sadly, racehorses are highly strung and unpredictable. This could have happened with any of the horses. How many don’t get restless/upset/rear in the pens, get taken out and scratched, and not for lack of training and schooling by the trainers. This was a very unfortunate incident, but at the end of the day, as I said before, the horse is what it is all about and they MUST be put ahead of everything else. Kudos to the vet who had the strength to withdraw a lame horse and not make it run and injure him further. Hawaam will be back, stronger and better. He is class, he is a fabulous horse.

  20. Louis Goosen says:

    That’s Racing. Well handled by NHA.

    But you have got to love Rishen’s comment….he thinks that the Owner puts nothing into Racing…. and doesn’t realise that the Tote Punters get a refund, a total of about R10M refunded by the Operator…

  21. Mac Naidoo says:

    As some writers correctly stated why the singing and dancing coupled with the national anthem being done when the horses are ready to get into pens. The wild cheers do affect these horses and causes them anxiety. And add to this there’s a delay so punters could decide on their bets. This is all nonsense because the wild cheers coupled with the delay has a distinct affect on the horses and Hawwaam had a sort of panic attack when he was forced into the pen. The singing and dancing and the national can be performed earlier in the day. Marcus behavior towards Hawwaam was shocking

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