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Top Stable Races Under Armed Guard

Alleged stabbing of racehorse leads to dismissal

A determined East Cape trainer Yvette Bremner saddled her runners at Fairview on Friday against all the odds and still managed a winner, despite a harrowing few days of striking Grooms.

The Dippin Blu Team, including leading owner Hedley McGrath, and the rest of the non-striking Bremner personnel, ensured that their five runners honoured their commitments on a Fairview turf card that only boasted 74 runners over the eight races.

Wayne Agrella  takes the salute as Jan-Hendrik and Vicky lead Duology in (Pic – Pauline Herman Photography)

The Bremner runners, led by Yvette and her assistants, were accompanied on the walk to the racetrack by armed security officers from Nitrous Security.

The two officers, Jan-Hendrik and Vicky (seen above), enjoyed the rare honour of leading in a winner while on duty, after Dippin’ Blu Racing’s Fat Frank-sponsored jockey Wayne Agrella rode a peach of a race to secure the honours on the Twice Over gelding Duology in the sixth.

The winner is owned by top SA partnership, Braam van Huyssteen and Hedley McGrath.

The circumstances that led to the bizarre events that overshadowed the well-intended Valentine’s Day fun at Fairview are another scar on the SA racing landscape, and owner Hedley McGrath, a major patron of the game in this country, said that ‘things could not continue the way they had happened’.

The Sporting Post has pieced together, after discussions with various sources, that a Groom employed by Yvette Bremner had allegedly stabbed the unraced BSA Nationals graduate Calgary, a Maine Chance Farms bred son of Drakenstein stallion Futura, last week.

We are in possession of a photograph, which we have opted not to publish.

Trainer Yvette Bremner grooms her horses under armed guard

At a subsequent disciplinary hearing, the Groom was found guilty of the violent act on the defenceless animal and dismissed.

The rest of the Dippin Blu Grooms then apparently demanded their dismissed colleague’s reinstatement, leading to a strike and the threat that they would not tolerate any other staff assisting  the Bremner team.

“There are a lot of things that have upset me about the game in recent years, but we get over the mini crisis and move on. But this is simply not acceptable. Violence towards these beautiful animals. Then being held to ransom when due process is followed. Then the threat of further violence and intimidation. Owners spend a fortune on the game and provide the employment opportunities for thousands of people. This is a hobby and supposed to be a pleasure for me and many of my partners. I personally am seriously reconsidering my position,” said an emotional Hedley McGrath, who added that the Bremner team, Phumelela, the SAPS and Nitrous Security had been of great assistance at a testing time.

We await comment from Phumelela, the NHA and other leading trainers. This story continues…watch this space

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17 comments on “Top Stable Races Under Armed Guard

  1. Mishaan says:

    People of this country don’t appreciate the jobs which they have remember half a loaf of bread is better than having no bread at all!! I DONT KNOW HOW OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM IN SA CAN JUST ALLOW PEOPLE TO BEHAVE IN AN INAPPROPRIATE WAY ,threaten businesses and were did this come from employees demanding an increase , in 1994 if this happened the justice system would have never failed our country as at that time there was no such thing ever heard off


    Man oh man… Eastern Cape racing – Mississippi Burning ?

  3. PL.NEL says:

    Bremner stable and Mr McGrath are and have been for many years true ambassadors for this industry, they also have created a lot of employment. For these loyal folks and horses to be subjected to such thuggery and bullying is totally unacceptable. Racing needs to back them to the hilt.
    If this is not stopped here and now then the road will be paved for further attacks. The light has to be switched on as to who is doing who the favour. Racing must not be allowed to continue whilst man and horse are so threatened. I will gladly add to sponsor of security and would urge all to do the same.

  4. Herman says:

    Charge him with cruelty to animals then let his fellow employees c that it is not about standing up for someone who feels that when he damage property that he feels will hurt others is OK. People need work in this country other people abuse their work and being employed

  5. chris says:

    I don’t care what the situation was ,,to hurt the horse is a step to far and if his fellow grooms see nothing wrong with that and demand his reinstatement then heaven help us all .I suggest the trainer should be very careful if people working for have that mentality.

  6. Harold says:

    And locals claim that foreigners are taking their jobs when they cannot do it properly in the first place.

  7. chris says:

    To take one’s anger out on the horse is a step to far ,and for your fellow grooms to support this kind of behaviour all I kind say is heaven help us all with that kind of mentality.My advice to the trainer is to be very careful if this is the mentality of some of your staff.

  8. Donald says:

    All you got to do is look at the behavior inside parliament on Thursday in what is supposed to be a constitution democracy to realize that there is no responsibility or accountability in South Africa but only chaos !

    When so called leaders behave in such a manner can you expect some of their electorate to behave any differently ?

    That ridiculous slogan ” an injury to one is an injury to all ” will be here to haunt any possible progress in the chaos until eternity !

    Herman , go to a police station and try and lay a charge of anything let alone cruelty to animals and you will be shocked at the outcome of your visit to that police station !

  9. Michael Jacobs says:

    Has this incident been reported to the police and the SPCA? There might well have been an internal disciplinary enquiry, but it is an animal cruelty matter and the criminal proceedings should have run concurrently to the enquiry? This groom should be banned from working with animals in future and should be jailed! The stable is pussy-footing around the matter instead of taking the (*edited) head-on!

  10. Ian says:

    Horse or cruel groom – who is the real animal?

  11. Gavin Langeveldt says:

    Not the first time.
    Cretinous malevolence.
    Please let us know the outcome.

  12. Sanjay says:

    Dont be subjected to threats by workers. Fire them all if they continue their stupid behaviour

  13. Jan Peskens says:

    Hope the groom doesn’t get his 1% of the stake. Give it to the security.

  14. Eric Fordred says:

    Why was a charge against this groom not laid by the SPCA?

  15. Tony Ridgway says:

    The groom (Ed – allegedly) committed a CRIME. He needs to be arrested, not “dismissed.” You know a nation by the way it treats its animals, said Gandhi. Amen says me.

  16. O.M says:

    Crime is a crime why not report it and resorted to firing the groom you are equally criminal and maybe we should have known the side of his story b4 crusifying him Punter frm Soshanguve.O.M.T

    1. Editor says:

      O.M plse go back and read the editorials and comments
      The matter was reported immediately.
      We have provided the case number

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