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Cattle Prodder – Trainer Fined And Suspended

Licence suspended and R20 000 fine

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at an Inquiry held in Johannesburg, 7 August 2019, Trainer Mrs S Miller was charged with a contravention Rule 72.1.14.

The particulars of the charge being that on 24 June 2019, during the course of a stable raid, an electrical and mechanical cattle prodder, which device may adversely impact or affect the welfare of a horse, was found on her training premises at Flamingo Park, Kimberley.

Mrs Miller pleaded guilty to the charge.  The Inquiry Board found her guilty of the charge.

The Board noted that there was no evidence presented which suggested that the device had been used on a horse and therefore the contravention only relates to the prodder being found at Mrs Miller’s training premises.

Notwithstanding this, the presence of the device was seen in a most serious light, as it created the potential for the welfare of the horse and the integrity of horseracing to be severely compromised.

Accordingly, the Inquiry Board imposed a penalty of:

  1. A three month suspension of her trainer’s licence, which suspension is wholly suspended for a period of twelve months on condition that she is not found guilty of a similar offence during this period;


  1. A penalty of a R20 000 fine.

Mrs Miller has the Right of Appeal against the penalty imposed.

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24 comments on “Cattle Prodder – Trainer Fined And Suspended

  1. Olof says:

    It is incidents like this that give the industry a bad name. Was this used on horses? So so sad to see this. Horse racing is suppose to be a sport of gentleman…… Shame on you Mrs Miller…..

  2. Mark Schmidt says:

    Another great week for South African racing.

  3. Echo95 says:

    A week after being fined for testosterone, she should be warned off permanently!!!!!!
    Disgusting and shocking for a trainer to reduce to this.

  4. Alberto says:

    Echo 95 I agree with you 100 percent. Disgrace!

  5. David says:

    So if she lose her licences for something stopped is fine how many trainers died this year and how many stop to train and left SA one trainer got back to SA for ten that have left

  6. Gavin says:

    This is a disgrace..

  7. Trevor R. says:

    I have been telling anybody that will listen to me that the NHA investigator needs to be retired.

    If there is a criminal complaint which also relates to a contravention of the rules, he tells you that you should rather go the criminal route and if you do, the NHA will not look at the contravention until the criminal proceedings are over. There is no reason that the two cannot be dealt with in both forums.

    Then you have a certain trainer who was found by the NHA in possession of a banned substance, which is different to a prohibited substance and the NHA fails to report it to the South African Police for to prosecute. Had the NHA done so and had the trainer been convicted he would have lost his licence. But no, the investigator did not want extra work. The trainer holds the record for the biggest fine ever imposed by the NHA.

    Mrs Miller is lucky that the NHA investigator did not investigate properly. He should have questioned the grooms, he should have questioned the work riders and he should have questioned Mrs Miller. To just leave it to finding the prodder is not good enough. I remember a certain Vaal trainer was given a 6 month suspension for using a cattle prodder on his horses. He could not train for 6 months and Mrs Miller gets a suspended sentence. The NHA has hit the lowest ebb ever. It is sheltered employment for people who are click watchers.

  8. Rajen Govender says:

    I would like to say that i would not be playing the races any more and thats because the roll over doubles have been stopped.I use to play with a bank of five grand every meeting.The only bet i used to play.so long…to the power thats been.see u on the orther side.

  9. Mgram says:

    It is disgusting that a trainer is using a cattle prodded to torture horses to do things they clearly do not want to. I am told that these producers are used to get horses to enter the starting stalls if they are refusing to do so.

    If any of my horses were stables with this trainer, they would be removed immediately. I challenge any owner in this yard to remove your animal today. Failure to do so equates to supporting animal abuse. I note a prominent owner in this yard is a former director of the NHA.

    Shame on the NHA in allowing this woman to continue training. What more must one do before your licence is revoked? Animal abuse and cheating by administering illegal substances hasn’t done it. I am forwarding this article to the NSPCA and sincerely hope that criminal charges against her.

  10. Concerned says:

    Mr. Editor Why no photo’s of the culprits
    Mrs. Miller and Theron

    1. Editor says:

      Regret that quality of pics on file not up to scratch

  11. Disgusted says:

    Wow,it just keeps getting better. A cattle prod??? Really!?!?!?!

  12. Willem says:

    Lucky i dont have horses with her anymore


    Willem, I disagree with the fine she got. I would have thought that a cattle prod or taser session, in front of the grandstand would be more appropriate. And then allow the guilty parties to have an ambulance, unlike the poor horse/s trapped in it’s stable.

  14. Paul says:

    Comment of Trevor R is spot on. The report clearly states that the Board notes no evidence was presented of the prod actually having been used. Why ever not???
    Surely given the need to protect animals from harm, a full investigation was called for .

  15. Nico says:

    Same culprit again.. if you want to suceed do it the way all other trainers do so, don’t endanger honest, innocent horses just for the sake of success/money. Disgraceful. Ban her for life!!!!

  16. David says:

    You haven’t a hard is the authoritys get something on you 1day dont look for any sympathy of eny one thanks to trai to stand with another trainer or owner thanks

  17. Mike says:

    Agreed cruelty to animals, shouldn’t if exist in this game that we all love

  18. Nico says:

    Stephanie Miller has a few runners tomorrow at Flamingo park. I fear for the punters.. i wonder if anyone could get some trainer comments from her on which horses were abused, the ones with no form possibly running well, i guess if you’re a punter don’t leave any of her horses out.. she hasn’t just abused horses but possibly cheated punters in the past as well.

  19. David says:

    Leave her maybe you also abuse you horses that way you said that to keep the spotlight of you

  20. bob kistnasamy says:

    Ed, there was a mention of Theron, in one of the snippets that I read.
    Both Theron and S Miller train for the same owner.

    Whilst Miller is guilty of the presence of the prodder, there is no evidence of usage on horses in her care, which could have prompted a suspended sentence.

    The “doping charges” is a serious offence and I concur with the sentiments that Miller should be warned off.

    Perhaps the NHA should engage in a more stringent drive to root out all evils within the industry.

    Not sure whether there was a tongue in cheek conversation between Keven and Warren on Tellytrack yesterday when Warren asked Kevin, how does a jock improve the performance of a horse. Response from Kevin was that the horse should be sent to Steph Miller.
    Personally I found that to be in poor taste (especially being on air).
    Not sure if Tellytrack has any comment on that conversation. .

  21. Disgusted says:

    Okay so the NHA say that there was no evidence of the prod being used…… THEN WHAT THE [email protected]#K was is doing there in the 1st place…. Did it go there to be trained?? Did just happen to pop by to say hi??? Or was it there to get its vaccine?? I winder

  22. Armchair Jockey says:

    Whistle blowing services are no panacea. Determining what is a valid blow of the whistle and what is not is a serious problem. Once the whistle is blown do you then flag the issue publicly or do you investigate privately? If you then find nothing of merit do you publicly make a statement or do you keep it private? How does the whistle blower know that their anonymous complaint has been dealt with? How do you stop such a service from being used for malicious intent by actors intent on sowing discontent?

  23. Mike says:

    Warn the lot who think they above the law

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