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Bremner Matter – Some Facts Emerge

Why did the process take so long?

Following the publication of a guilty finding for a forbidden substance positive and a fine of R175 000 against PE trainer Yvette Bremner on Monday 13 August 2019, further clarity has been provided by her legal counsel.

Chris Swart wrote:

Fully agree with Counsel. When you’re ignorant off the facts, do as any millennial would do and Google them.The drug in this instance + horses. You’d immediately find precedents internationally which all point to feed and supplement contamination.

New Information Prompts Kentucky Stewards To Rescind Ractopamine Positives For Arnold, Sharp

I sincerely hope that this is pursued to the end.

Counsel responds:

Chris, you correctly allude to either feed or supplement contamination. So, here’s the thing.

What if I told you that Bremner feeds the following supplements to her horses:

GCS Gold, Rigly Glucosomine and MSM – all joint supplements

Royals Feeds – equine anti-stress mix and booster plus

Red cell – multivitamin

Then consider that Dr Ashley Parker, her vet, testified that NONE of these supplements contain Ractopamine. Now what are you left with?

Despite some astounding facts that you will be apprised of in due course which was totally disregarded by the Inquiry Board, they then albeit that they dismissed the NHA attorney’s request for a costs order of R132,938.84, nonetheless imposed a fine of R175k, R25k higher than the R150k penalty requested.

On that basis it is implied that aggravating factors (what for I have NO idea) were taken into account.

Are they suggesting that Bremner went and sourced Ractopamine (which incidentally is found in pig feed and which cannot be administered i.e is not injectable), despite the fact that there is NOT a shred of evidence to remotely suggest this and which quite frankly is contemptuous.

Master wrote:

Race was run on 20 November 2017.

Inquiry was held +/- 9 Months later – 18 August 2018.

Concluded on +/- 9 Months later – 9 May 2019 (Concluded to me means done and dusted)

Only released some +/- 3 Months later…….

Does it take that long?

Ok… so the stakes will be returned and the second horse gets the win.

What happens to the merit rating of that horse?

More so what happens to the PUNTERS who lost say their Pick Six or backed the Second Horse which will now be promoted to first?

Counsel responds:

It is correct that the horse raced on 20 November 2017. Bremner was however only notified of the positive on 15 January 2018 (almost 2 months later) although the letter served on her was dated 12 January 2018.

The Inquiry was held on 7 August 2018 (not 18 August as stated) and we only managed to deal with the evidence of Dr Schalk de Kock, the Laboratory Director of the NHA, who not only testified as a witness on their behalf, but was allowed by the Inquiry Board to “sit in” and assist the NHA throughout proceedings and then astonishingly (as in the Kannemeyer Ractopamine case three years prior), was allowed to testify as an expert on behalf of RCL Foods (Epol) as to their testing methodologies despite the fact that by his own admission and under cross-examination, admitted that he had never set foot on the premises in Pretoria.

Due to the aforegoing, the matter had to be adjourned and the NHA then took incredibly until 29 May 2019 (10 months later) to hear the concluding evidence being day 2.

The Chairman Dan Mpanza then reserved judgement which he then took two months to deliver. Rather strangely, the Findings are dated 29 July 2019, yet were only forwarded to me by the NHA attorney on 8 August 2019 some 10 days later.

My client is presently in talks with Epol over this matter and dependent on the outcome thereof will advise whether we proceed to take the matter on Review to the High Court or not. If the matter is no longer sub judice then as stated previously, a comprehensive statement will be given laying the facts before you which I can assure you is most compelling and then you be the judge bearing in mind that these Inquiry Boards are compelled to adjudicate based purely on a balance of probabilities?

In regard to the merit rating in such cases, that will remain as is although the horse in question Cat In Command, I believe has been retired.

From a betting perspective, unfortunately, once the “all clear” is posted, the result remains as given at the time.

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12 comments on “Bremner Matter – Some Facts Emerge

  1. bob kistnasamy says:

    It would appear another booboo from NHA. Indications are that the Lab Director played multiple roles in the inquiry. Do they not have an appeal process? Suppose that will take a lifetime to resolve. If we want to follow international standards, why are not looking at cases in other international arenas prior to rendering a decision which can still be challenged.

    I agree that entire policy and process needs to be revised and the NHA board be dissolved and replaced by competent. It would be interesting to note the criteria used for the selection of NHA members.

  2. Lou Syfer says:

    Are there multiple cases of Ractopamine occurring in Port Elizabeth as was the case with Cobalt a few years back?

  3. Cecil says:

    Very Interesting

    Mr Chris Swart 👍

    On a lighter note, some punters may wanne go the small claims court route, legal is expensive….

    Especially the ones that lost on the Bipot, the fav Olympic Power at 2-1 is now 2nd

    The 2nd horse Rosslyn Chapel was similar in odds as Cat in Command around 12-1, so P6 winners and losers, no claim.

    The winners of the Bipot, on the day, be quiet, very quiet. LoL

    Mr Ed, you said Aug is a quiet month, except for (racing) politics. Correct Sir

    Mr Reid always says get the popcorn ready. True, but I miss out, bleddie vals tande 😂.

    I still love racing🐴🐎

  4. Paul says:

    Is it possible for Mr Bloomberg to release the written findings of the Inquiry Board?

  5. Armchair jockey says:

    The comments section to most of the SP articles on issues like this are much the same as the audience reaction to an episode of Suits or some other legal entertainment. The first lawyer to mount an argument is believed implicitly, the facts seem clear and the case seems water tight, until of course the entire argument is refuted or at least placed in doubt by the next lawyer. We have yet to hear the other lawyers argument yet most have decided on the outcome. I don’t have much faith in what lawyers say so popcorn it is!

  6. Nico says:

    Quite clearly this happened unintendedly, why would she feed one specific horse the above mentioned substance. To impose a fine of R175 000 is ludacris.

    If it were multiple horses i’d fully agree.

    NHA go focus on the cattle prodders.

  7. Nigel Burch says:

    Once again and sadly SA racing is in the news for the wrong reasons, and the wrong people making wrong decisions. It is of no surprise that all the top trainers who left SA have all flourished whilst training abroad and working under excellent administrations in their chosen country. Am afraid SA racing is becoming ‘mickey mouse’ and who in their right mind would invest in racehorses bought in SA to race in SA?
    Cape Racing survives in the summer in overseas owners, 3years ago you couldn’t get a table in the Somerset Room at Kenilworth on a Saturday, this year it was closed and only open for select meetings, what does that tell you ?
    Good luck to SA racing, but when you have top trainers heading East, I fear for the future under the current administration.


    Mr. Burch,

    Excellent summation.


    This case seems most ‘peculiar’ to me, for the want of a better word.

    If there is anybody out there who could add information to my questions, it would be appreciated…

    Is there a claim/accusation that Epol have Ractopamine as an additive in their Horse, Cattle or Pig feeds directly or indirectly ?

    Have any other trainers been affected in a similar way when using an Epol product ?

    Ractopamine has the affect of reducing feeding/eating & promotes lean muscle growth. Would these properties not be beneficial to a trainer ?

    Doesn’t Mr. De Kock have two endorsed products with Epol…remember years ago when interviewed he was so grateful that his children, in years to come, would earn royalties from these exceptional products.

    Could Mr. de Kock not be instrumental in helping to sort out this mess, in some way or form ?

    Mrs. Bremner, why would Epol knowingly put Ractopamine, a banned substance in SA for horse-feed, into their horse-feeds, risking there Equine market share ?

  10. Jimmy says:

    A poor Carpenter always blames his tools!Yvette take your punish like a man and stop blaming the feed! Don’t discredit EPOL !

  11. Tony Mincione says:

    What facts have emerged? I like bashing the NHRA as much as the next man, but the stuff was in the horse and that isn’t disputed. As long as they aren’t guessing and are consistent then they are most of the way to getting it right but they do look like they have forgotten the maxim that “justice delayed is justice denied”.

    If we can all agree that the chemical should not be in the race, then we are left speculating about how it got in, and whether the fine of R175k is astonishing.

    There could be many possible mitigating factors, but none are offered yet. And then we also have to see what precedent we would be starting on accepting dope excuses versus a zero tolerance.

    The rule is that the “I don’t know” defence is possible for an owner, but it’s not available to the person responsible for offering the horse for the competition.

    It must be horrible if you are innocent because it’s impossible to prove that you have no part in a positive. Even if you were away, you deputy acts for you.

    But the only way to combat doping is to have a blind justice were a positive has the same outcome no matter what, unless you can in fact prove innocence. And even then the result must go.


    Good morning Tony,

    So are you inferring that this case goes a lot further than meets the eye of the reader ?

    I didn’t want to put out to many questions on my earlier post but I have had feedback that other trainers have previously had issues with Epol as well.

    Would that just be wild rumour/skinder (afrikaans) or what because too many people in racing don’t want to be named.

    What can be believed ?

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