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Physical Altercation – KZN Trainer Fined

Has right of appeal against finding & penalty

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that at an Inquiry held in Durban on 14 February 2020, Trainer Frank Robinson was charged with a contravention of Rule 72.1.25.

This arose in that he conducted himself in an improper manner at Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse on 12 January 2020, by initiating a physical altercation with an employee of his stable.

Mr Robinson pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Inquiry Board found Mr Robinson guilty and after considering the evidence presented, he was fined R8 000, of which R4 000 is suspended for a period of two years, provided that he is not found guilty of a contravention of Rule 72.1.25 during that time.

Mr Robinson has the Right of Appeal against the finding and the penalty imposed.

  • Press release by NHA on Monday 17 February 2020

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42 comments on “Physical Altercation – KZN Trainer Fined

  1. bob kistnasamy says:

    In this current economic climate, it is very difficult for trainers to survive. With owners also scaling down operations, the life of the trainers is becoming increasingly stressful and anxiety stricken as they also have to take care of support staff and ensuring that they are paid, fed and accommodated.

    However, we are also witnessing increasing labour issues which the trainers are now faced with. The retirement of OA Ferraris, issues experienced by Mike de Kok and more recently Bremner are all cause for concern when it relates to the training ranks.
    the sense of appreciation is lost to those creating employment.
    perhaps subject the support staff to training and lessons on how to provide support to the trainers.

    whatever it is, something needs to be done quite quickly.

  2. Lushan says:

    Bob, you most probably are a patron of Frank’s yard, under no circumstances is a physical attack acceptable. This is disgusting, and an R8000 fine is simply a slap on the wrist… I’m almost certain this won’t be the end of this, I won’t be suprised when the unions get involved, and there is proper chaos at summerveld. If one treats his staff in that manner, I’m scared to find out about how one treats his animals.

  3. Go.gavin says:

    I have been in Franks yard for 10 years and I have not met and don’t know of anybody who cares more for horses in his care than he does .All animals in fact. I would believe that the vast majority of his peers know how he cares for his animals and would attest to that.

  4. Speedyvar says:

    Go.gavin that is fine that Frank cares for horses and in fact all animals and his peers can attest to that.
    They question is how does he treat his fellow human being.
    Image if this happened the other way around.There would be shouts of,..Ï am going,I am going to Australia I am phoning Joey right now,He did the right thing.
    But Frank attacked his worker and now we hear how caring he is to his HORSES.

  5. jai says:

    kzn trainers should get together and form a committee to challenge the nha and not just except everything they say and do.

  6. Brian says:

    Well said, jai

  7. Lushan says:

    I hope the department of labor, unions, and all the powers that be, mop the floors with Frank…, an example needs to be made.Those grooms are awake early in the morning, before the sun rises, in the rain and heat, looking after someone else’s animals, giving them food, taking them for their training, bathing, grooming, cleaning up their feacal matter, changing their bedding, giving them food, for minimal pay, no benefits, and then get attacked… it’s ludicrous , and anyone who supports that behavior is a disgrace to the human race.

    If it is worth anything to anyone, I must say what Hollywood has done for the grooms of winning horses is a brilliant gesture, and long may it continue.

  8. Gman says:

    A slap on the wrist.

  9. Marvin says:

    Getting physical was wrong..
    This makes as employee feel like a dog.
    There is a lot of tension in horse racing right now. This creates a possibility of worsening it.

  10. Greg G says:

    With the 2 supposed leaders of the KZN trainers in charge, there is no hope of getting together to accomplish anything. These professors wear 1 cap at a trainer’s meeting and another at a Gold Circle meeting. Getting rid of them first …

  11. Art says:

    Whilst I dont condone any form of physical violence against ANYONE I feel Bob Kistnasamy has a valid point in training up support staff to appreciate what is required by the trainer. As for the proposal to bring in the dedepartment of labour and the parasitic unions I say do so at your own peril.The trade unions with their onerous demands in an ailing industry and economy to boot are singularly responsible for one of the highest unemployment rates in the world.The department of labour by prescribing minimum conditions will force many owners and trainers out the game with a concomitant loss of jobs.But hey if you are a patron of the ANC OR EFF then go for it.

  12. Andym says:

    Lushan. And then these wonderful hard working “human beings” stab a horse!!!!

  13. Go.gavin says:

    Amazing. He pleaded not guilty. I don’t know what happened obviously you do. I must be missing something. All I was doing is correcting an obviously outlandish insinuation regarding his care of animals. I stick by that. By doing that no way am I condoning his actions against another human being. Why invent that. Is that the best you can do?

  14. Prasheen harrimohan says:

    Mr editor it will be good if you guys can pay tribute to the late trainer Carl burger

    1. Editor says:

      We are aware of that, thanks Prasheen and announced the sad passing of Mr Burger on social media yesterday afternoon.

  15. Jay le Cordier says:

    There is no jobs in the Greenbushes , Area in PE.( Fairview)The stable workers are getting out of hand .Trainers supply in job creation and the workers are just ” demanding all the time” .Bremmer and Robinson not the only trainers who have labour issues due to unruly workers.They should be thankfull for a job .

  16. Adesh rambally says:


  17. Ian says:

    Since when does one “bathe” a horse! What a chop!
    I suggest Lushan attend a few basic courses in the English language before attempting to “ share his ignorance “ with SP and others. As for his point of view it Is worthless and clearly shows his lack of knowledge and understanding of how a racing stable operates.
    Not for all the tea in China would I want to swop places with Frank, Yvette and others.

  18. Ian, it looks like you also need some basic courses in English!. “As for his point of view it Is worthless “. Don’t you understand when to use capital letters, lad?. Lushan’s point is valid. I’m sure you get the message, it’s written in English!. Violence is a resort of a weak man. What ever the issue was, violence is never the answer.

  19. Frank Robinson says:

    People get the facts before you write please. I was waiting for one of my horses by the off loading ramp. When the horse came out the ramp he had no one holding him he fell down the ramp scrapping himself on the tar. The groom hobbled out parraletic drunk. I shouted at him of which he swore about my mothers private area. I told my spare groom to make him walk the horse hoping he would sober up as I only had one spare groom. He then swore at my groom and told him where to go .He then proceded to walk the horse and then just let it go loose and go and sit on the grass. By now im fuming as these animals loose can do themselves and others huge damage. I asked what the hell are you doing in choice words he then jumped up came at me swearing and saying hit me hit me. Fully provoked he got a left flat hand in full view of the black stipe and head stipe of which both agreed I still showed huge restraint fully provoked. They both stood up for me in the enquiry. He was thrown off the course by security after attempting to swear and fight with other grooms. So before people start about unions etc you have no idea what we go through on a daily basis. And he wasn’t one of my grooms he was a temp filling in for one of my grooms who had to go home for a death in the family. iv held a licence for 35 years and this is the first charge of this manner and if people know me I love animals a lot more than humans and you abuse any animal I will I promise you react violently. That’s just who I am. I will not respond further

  20. Gavin says:

    Well said frank.. I would have done a lot. More to that groom.. Good on you…

  21. Jose says:

    Well done Mr Frank Robinson you put these people that like judging a book without being their? Bloody (*edited)

  22. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…I’m a bit pissed off at you Frank for only slapping him…No animal deserves that treatment and as for him swearing your Mothers ****** and the abuse you had to go through I would have expected much more than just a good slapping brother,,oh but then again it’s Frank Robinson Mr Softy

  23. Brian says:

    Thank you for telling us Mr Robinson. Would the idiotic writers please say sorry and another instance where in a proper court of law justice in the true sense would have prevailed rather than the sense of “justice” the kangaroo courts of the NHA

  24. Raymond says:

    All these groom’s get remunerated for their work so they must adhere to the rules and instructions of the yard

  25. Malvin says:

    I am shocked at the response of the trainer and how sympathetic some are of his actions.
    Firstly you are justifying your violent action and thinking and fooling yourself that you had the right to respond the way you did.
    The way you describe your violent action smells of pride.”he got a left flat hand”, wow, just wow.
    But more importantly Mr Robinson maybe you should get your facts straight and respond like a proper and decent human being the next time.
    You, yourself say he came out “Paraletic Drunk”. So ask yourself how can you allow a “Paraletic Drunk” to take care of a High Powered animal. He should never been allowed to work, Period. Secondly it suited you to allow a “Paraletic Drunk” because you came ill prepared and had no back up plan.
    I want to know in which day and age you live, whereby you allow a “Paraletic Drunk” to walk a horse so that he can sober up.
    Will he really Sober Up.
    By allowing him to walk that horse in that state you committed in itself the gravest error.
    Its like telling a “Paraletic Drunk” to drive my high powered Merc 63 so that you will sober up.
    I am shocked at the NHRA for allowing this behavior of you. And I hope that they read your response and take you to task again for this travesty of justice on your part.
    Please the next time dont justify Violence in a public platform. If you as a professional came unprepared dont blame others and justify your violent behavior.
    U could have held the horse till you sourced someone that was in a working condition.

  26. Viv says:

    Totally Baffled.
    Race horse trainer Anil Maharaj assaulted a member of the racing industry; his trainers license was taken away/ suspended and was banned from any gold circle venue.
    I wonder if this poor groom was an employee from within the horse racing industry. Does the transgression of assaulting a non white within the industry differ from the punishment of assault?

  27. D. A. Pienaar says:

    I hope to sober up some of the comments posted here.

    Mr Robinson needs to answer this very easy question:

    Would he have acted the same if the groom was his father or a family member or another trainer or stipendiary steward? He will be very hard pressed to say Yes.

    The inquiry board correctly found Mr Robinson to be guilty. He should never have assaulted the groom no matter what abuse he suffered. I do not think that provocation is a defence. Self defence is a defence.He should have known better. I thank Mr Robinson for giving his version of events as I now understand why the sentence was so light.

  28. Gary Turf says:

    What Frank did was perfectly justified

  29. Brian says:

    Marvin, let some pissed dude come at you. Then tell me if you’d chance been knocked out silly

  30. Art says:

    Malvin you are missing the whole point here.I suggest you read the explanation from Frank again Some of your assertions made are absurd to say the least.For example Frank allowing a paraletic groom to lead his horses off the ramp.FFS how d’id anyone know that the groom had been drinking before the horse slipped and fell.Only after the event was it discovered that the groom is ‘paraletic”.Then when admonished the groom gets all aggressive and starts his nonsense.Anybody in that situation is going to act irrationally. If the groom had of stabbed Frank with a knife in his inebriated state I wonder what direction this discussion would have taken .Insult my mothers private parts and you are going to get a (*edited) good hiding in front of everyone.You know the drill dont use this platform to stir racial friction Any groom with the same attitude was always going to get a flat hand in this situation. By the way I dont condone violence but then I’m not Frank.

  31. Speedyvar says:

    When Frank says, in full view of the black stipe and head stipe,does he mean in full view a of a black stipe and a white stipe?
    And did Frank check out this groom before he hired him? Was he a groom or a person off the street that Frank allowed to look after the horse?
    And Frank would you travel in a confined space with a dangerous animal?
    Because you say,I love animals a lot more than humans
    If this animal had killed this person while being transported to the course,would your only worry be if the horse had hurt itself?

    Meanwhile would like to say sorry to Larry Wainstein for the treat he got after punching a punter.He was fully provoked.
    Sorry to the groom who kicked a horse.He was fully provoked

  32. Robbie Dawson says:

    Insubordination,the job required was not above his pay grade ,it wasn’t an unreasonable request for him to take care of the horse on his travels .
    The groom in my opinion
    1.did not fulfill his duty
    2.drank on duty
    3.total disregard for the animal
    4.verbal abuse
    5.physical abuse
    6.due to his negligence,the horse got hurt.
    7.did the horse have a chance in the race?
    Of course it did,
    Frank is in my opinion not only an animal lover but a horseman and why the hell should his intelligence be insulted.
    Some of the comments have irritated me,
    Concern for the horse have hardly been mentioned .
    Question,who supplied the groom wth alcohol,?he chose to drink ,with the knowledge it was wrong
    Attacking others unacceptable as well as the hand that feeds you ,that’s not fair,yet he is the victim.

  33. Philip Fourie says:

    What Frank is saying here is 100% correct. I saw the whole incident

  34. Ugie says:

    Let me understand this . Trainer provoked so he assaults his employee. It justifies his action.
    People murdered or assaulted by their gardeners or staff members because their staff say they were provoked or unfairly treated and everyone is up arms.
    Guys so Road Rage is justified……the one party was provoked.

    Shame on you Guys. There is means and ways to address these kind of situations and assaulting a person who is of limited education , not well paid and intoxicated makes the trainer who is supposed to be a little clever than his groom a justified action

  35. malperumal says:

    To Brian N Art.
    Brian, read Franks response. In no way did he react the way he did due to self defecnce. Nor was he physically threatened.
    He hit the gentlemen cos he could not control his temper. N Brian for your information I hold a black Belt in Shotokan Karate. Trust me, if the need arises I will defend myself, but our first learnings is to avoid physical altercations. In this case security could have been called and the gentleman escorted out. This wasnt done cos Frank still needed him.
    Art – Maybe you should read the trainers response. He clearly states that after detecting the gentleman not just drunk, but “Paralethic Drunk”, he still asked for him to walk the horse to sober him up.
    He claims he loves his horses but you want to put this high powered machine in the hands of a “Paralethic Drunk”
    Please tell me if that would have happened?

  36. Gman says:

    Frank says he loves animals more than human beings,”what does that tell you”.Allowing the groom to walk the horse to sober up LOL.

  37. George Spelvin says:

    Rather funny that malperuml refers to a drunken and aggressive male as a gentleman. Can I suggest he looks up the meaning of the word.

  38. Lushan says:

    Andym can you please elaborate on your comment, when you said these hard working “human beings “ stabbed a horse.
    If you are referring to the incident in the eastern cape, please familiarize yourself with the timeline of events, and note as far as my understanding is that the horse was hurt whilst trimming the horses ear hairs, and not maliciously stabbed…
    What is disturbing is the generalization of grooms that has come across.
    When I go to see my horse at the stables, I always give the groom a little something extra, because of the great care that he takes of my horse… I personally admire grooms, because of all the hard work and pride that they put into keeping the horses happy and healthy.

  39. Anand Chetty says:

    I agree with Malvin. Provocation is no justification for violence. Allowing a drunk man to walk a horse hoping he will sober up? That wasn’t going to work. Frustration affects everybody, and I can understand the stresses trainers are going through with this industry in bad shape.
    But spare a thought for this drunk, he too must have his frustration and stresses. Note: I’m not condoning his behavior, I’m trying to understand it.
    Several years ago a handler was injured before the last race. I attended to him. Nobody took responsibility for his follow up care and transport to his living quarters.
    I ended up driving him to his lodgings.
    Its hurtful that many people in a position of privilege treat their animals like family (which is great), but treat their employees like subhumans.

  40. Ugie says:

    There is a recent post on Facebook alleging that the trainer was rude and acted In an aggressive manner towards an owner and his wife.
    I also remember( stand to be corrected) reading that the trainer was rude to the jockey club officials during a visit to his yard and a fine was given to the trainer.
    I am not in any way condoning the employee’s behavior but I really believe had this employee behaved ike this to another trainer , that trainer would have handled it in the proper way that it should have been handled .

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