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Owner Asks…’What Now?’

NHA CEO Vee Moodley responds

My name is Leonard Bloch and I own race horses in training. Three years ago I owned – either solo or in partnership  – seven horses in training.

I saw the writing on the wall,so to speak, about two and a half years ago and reduced my string to one only in training.

I recently bought into a 2 year old filly. The purchase was made with my heart and not my head.

I have questions to ask and expect answers unlike the time that I wrote to Sporting Post voicing certain concerns to do with racing.

Sporting Post in turn submitted my questions to the NHRA and were not even shown the decency of a reply in answer to questions put.

I can only imagine the NHRA filed the e mail under W P B(waste paper basket).

I would point out that racing is still going ahead in Australia, Hong Kong and Japan, amongst others under very similar circumstances that were installed in South Africa after the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Only one trainer per string ,grooms for the horses racing,a few admin staff and a small contingent of T V folk. No owners and guests,no punters etc.etc.

Hollywoodbets Greyville during lockdown meeting (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

Racecourses by their very nature are pretty large areas and it is highly unlikely that 50 people would ever be within 50 m of each other during these ghost meetings.


Rather unceremoniously,we were informed that racing would cease with your updates stating that racing would resume 16th April.

Today is the 10 April with no noms having  being shown so one can safely assume that there will be no restart to racing as expected.

My first question.

Was this decision to stop racing made by NHRA or was it due to a central government decision?

I now come to the very crux of my e mail.

Racing can have 1,2 or 3 hundred trainers and half a million punters. But without the owners,racing ceases to exist.

Owners are the people that spend tens, if not hundreds of millions of rands, per year buying horses to have  trained and run.

Owners bear the brunt of all costs to do with purchasing, transport,vet fees – which would make any self respecting specialist doctor blush!. That includes shoeing etc, etc.

Owners have to pay to renew colours on an annual basis, which I also have an issue with since the racing  season runs over a specific time period and accounts for this are sent out about 3 months before renewal is due with a warning  that if not paid immediately, a surcharge would be added.

Various other charges as charged by NHRA and the RA also have to be taken into account.

The long and the short of what I have written thus far – No owners, No Racing ever!

In the interim period, owners with horses in racing stables are paying full training fees without a clue as to when racing might resume.

I am also led to believe that if and when racing resumes, we will be racing for reduced stakes.

I will point out that I am not a punter but in the game for the love of the game and the horse.

For me, there is nothing more exciting than seeing my colours represented in a race,win or lose.

In consultation with my partners, you leave me/us with a dilemma.

Do we move our horses out of training to a spelling farm at less than half the monthly current cost, or maybe even dispose of our horses and get out of racing completely?

Racing cannot exist without owners and our leaving the sport would be yet another blow to the perilous state racing South Africa finds itself in – through my opinion, gross mismanagement.

I await your response,

Len Bloch.

NHA CEO Vee Moodley responds:

Dear Mr Bloch

In response to your first question, the decision to stop racing was the Racing Industry’s response and to abide  by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lockdown criteria.

As you are aware, and  prior to the announcement, we did stage ‘closed door’ meetings. So every effort to stage racing by the operators was made at that time. 

We are all aware of the Covid – 19 Pandemic. The  preservation of human life is top priority whilst trying to balance the socio economic impact, was the message from the President.

As for your other questions, and I am sure many, many participants in racing and other industries are finding themselves in the unfortunate position that you are in, I empathize with all and would safely state  that majority of our society now find ourselves in survival mode.

It’s individuals that would now have to step up and make their own decisions as to how to navigate their way out of this web.

The entire supply chain of the Horse Racing Industry is entangled in this dilemma. For once I can safely state again, there is no discrimination either-  be it an Owner, Trainer, Jockey, Breeder or any stakeholder that’s involved in our Industry.

My only advice for now is to ascertain if the Grants offered by Government can be retrieved by your Trainer, depending if he qualifies as a SMME ?

The other issues of stakes etc, do not fall within my jurisdiction directly. Therefore no response attached.

I fully comprehend your thoughts, and please  remember, that we are not alone in this struggle to overcome.

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70 comments on “Owner Asks…’What Now?’

  1. Oscar says:

    As an owner with many many horses in training and breeding my advise to you Leonard is to assess how much horse racing and owning a horse means to your life. If it’s your passion then get behind your trainer, make sure you pay all bills incurred and hope as the rest of us are that racing will start again, ONLY once the authorities have had comprehensive discussions with the National Dept of Health and it’s appropriate to do so. As an owner of a race horse one lives with the good times as well as the difficult times, and that’s the commitment one makes to the horse you have purchased.
    I wish you well Leonard in whichever decision you take.

  2. Theunis Smith says:

    so racing did not HAVE to be stopped it was the decision of some fat-cat in an air conditioned office…and so he/she impacted on the income of thousands of hard working people….SHAME ON YOU!!!!

  3. Charles IV says:

    What I take from Mr Moodley’s reply to Mr Boch is that he is following a selfish approach that is ~To Each His Own. His message is quite basic, he will look after himself and the rest of us should look after ourselves.

    Remember Remember, Mr Moidley was an integral part of Phumelela’s board that made decisions of which horse racing is at present feeling the financial brunt. He is a major player in helping Phumelela become what it is today.

    Seems to me that the Operators may have forgotten to pay the NHRA its full monthly stipend and Mr Moodley may be more interested in securing financial interests of some other than regulating horse racing for all.

  4. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mr Ed, maybe we can ask Mr Moodley the following

    In his address last night, Pres Ramaphosa asked other companies to do the same as Government. Take atleast a 1/3 paycut for 3 months and donate to a suitable fund.

    Will the NHA, RA, PGL etc bosses be doing the same ? Surely it’s the right thing to do

    If any GC chief reads this, pls advise for KZN

  5. Pieta says:

    I see the shining suite is now gone…….is cash converters still open?

  6. Brian says:

    With the utmost respect Me Moodley. You are a CEO yet your response was feeble and showed no hint of an ability to lead.

    You took the job and admittedly you had no idea this would land in your plate but, it has. That response was not becoming of any positive attitude to owners at all and niether did it show any firm of leadership

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out the kitchen

  7. Graeme Hawkins says:

    Lets be clear – under full Lockdown, we are NOT ALLOWED to race – hopefully, post Lockdown, we will be able to race again, albeit behind closed doors and under strict health and safety measures as was the case prior to March 27.

  8. Gman says:

    Have to agree with Charles that mail says it all (all for one and none for all.)We love racing and horses but for how long must this continue.Do you sell your house and move in with your racehorse because you love the game or do you give in and let the wealthy owners that can afford to pay their way without any trouble win every race each time.
    Greef wins 50% of the races in PE every week.
    MDK and Tarry splittng a nine race card in JHB.
    Snaith + Candice Bass doing the same in CPT.
    Peter running riot at the Vaal.
    You will have the same owners and trainers winning the big trophies every year with the smaller yards confined to the stands because they werent givin a chance to grow.
    We cant compare SA to Zim racing but have a look at those racecards two trainers fill up the race card every week.
    Everyone must stand together big owners/small owner,big trainers/small trainer,your punter that bets 50k on a horse/the punter that plays R5 a win.

  9. Pieta says:

    Graeme, most of us have left school many moons ago when we were still classified as students…..other than the learner thing today…
    I think the question is ….WHO IN GOVERNMENT HAVE YOU APPROACHED and what was their response?……do you have anything in writing that you can share with us?

  10. Grant says:

    Well said Pieta,
    Plain and Simple.

  11. Dorrie Sham says:

    Thank goodness for owners like John Finlayson, Fred Crabbia , Rod Mattheyse and The Stonebridge’s…….we have their full support in all ways.

    For any trainer that is in lockdown your basic costs are the same. The horses are still eating their same amount of feed, using the same amount of bedding, having their own groom, eating their Teff, getting blanketed. The only non cost is racing related ie noms, race treatments otherwise all the same. In fact there are certain extra costs now being incurred like masks, gloves, sanitizers every day, extra soaps. Work even takes a bit longer because grooms are staying their “social distancing” apart in places like feed and fodder rooms. As our grooms are all sleeping in at Vaal (along with most trainers) there are extra food, meat, veggies to be bought for the grooms as well.

    Whenever we are allowed to race again then owners will want their horses fit and ready to run. We have adjusted work patterns slightly but all horses are exercised every day. Noting that Mark and I personally own 15 of these horses…….so we have lots of mouths to fill.

    On a “happier” note the Vaal trainers, grooms, security staff,
    Phumelela staff have been working miracles here. Everyone is working together to keep the Vaal clean. Temps are taken of everyone in and out every day and monitored. A big thanks to Adrian Todd and RA for their medical input. We had a medic on course instructing everyone on Covid 19 and the protocols involved.

    Looking forward to seeing racing back on its feet soon.

  12. Brian Taylor says:

    Exactly! We know that Mr Hawkins. What have you, GC, PG and NHA done to address this besides tell all people in this sport nothing we don’t know already

    Between the bunch of you, you’ve been sitting on your arses being reactive instead of proactive

    And you call yourselves CEO’s. The chips are down now CEO’s. Now try at least try and be CEO’s

  13. Rian says:

    Well said Pieta, you have said it short and to the point , he must think we all stupid, didn’t want to get involved but again no Leadership shown by any of the so called professional team, the same old same old gemors
    Need to first clear any further comments with our mayor as he seems to be on top form, so far his score card makes for good reading
    Blessing to all

  14. Debi Vogt says:

    Dear Mr Moodlley
    Your Response sucks . I have Two Questions …Is there sufficient Teff available for the horses stuck at the training centres and are the stables being monitored too ensure that the horses are being properly cared for and are taken out for walks?

  15. Donald says:

    I repeat my post made earlier today .

    What are the industry leaders doing to negotiate with government TODAY about resuming horse racing on 1st May under the terms and conditions that prevailed before the lockdown ?

    That is the question Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Moodley are being asked ?

    This is not a rhetorical matter but one that DEMANDS a straight and clear answer !

    Who is doing what to get the show on the road again ? Is it that task team we here about but do not even know the composition of ?

    We await your responses to this CRITICAL question !

  16. Dorrie Sham says:

    Debi, after lockdown please come and visit a training center to see for your self how horses are cared for. Just because we are locked down doesn’t mean that “ training” stops. We at Vaal are all here at work as normal . Horses being fed and cared for as normal. This situation has not affected the horses in any way however there are trainers who are are paying in to the care due to owners who think if a horse doesn’t race then it doesn’t eat. Probably 80% of Vaal trainers have moved onto the property to ensure lockdown goes smoothly for horses and grooms

  17. Tommy Shawe says:

    Mr Moodlley what a poor answer for a Ceo…What salary are you getting? Take a stand and answer the question or find the answers .Dont say thats not my department…Cecil got perfect questions as well…
    We all cant wait for racing to start and maybe for 50 % stakes… not worth it.. .. I have around 10 horse but the way its going wont have any by year end…
    Many of the small owners feel the same..
    Tommy Shawe

  18. Marlon Sing says:

    Oscar,this message is directed to you,I think you as a owner you missing the point Leonard is trying to make not to trainers but to the racing authority the powers that lead the horse racing industry,let me tell you something directly,you for one oscar you said it you own many many horses and breed that’s good for you,you may have alot of money although cant be through the horses running and making you money,otherwise I would have read about your winners here,anyway that is a very insulting statement that you made if you know what I’m talking about,Mr Leonard did mention that he is in the game because of his love of horses,so yes he can pay his trainers but for how long,as we all as owners are not getting feedback from the authorities,let me also tell you if this pandemic continues and we cant race for a year or 2(Anything is possible with the Covid-19 Pandemic)and there is no income how do we pay stable fees which cost +-R10000 per month per horse,I’m sure these stable fees are made up of so many different aspects,R10000x12 monthsx50 horses = R6million,work the maths how do you as a owner recover that loss of 6million or 12 million, can you oscar as a owner survive in this game if this was the case cause you own many horses you should be able to answer,we understand the trainers situation but withiut horses earning or paying it’s way to cover some of the cost per horse a big owner will surely leave the game,for instance without intervention form racing authority if every owner hands in his or her colours and leaves the game because they rather cut there losses before things get worse,I’m sure then every single head in PHUMELELA,R.A,NHRA,GOLDCIRCLE what are the trainers going to do with the horses,its not a matter of taking the good with the bad this scenario is totally different(Covid 19 Pandemic) the racing authority intervening we heading for a disaster.I wish whatever decision is made it’s to benefit everyone involved,but to indirectly tell a owner if you cant take the heat leave the game(The heat is hot now because of the Covid-19 Pandemic)Regards Marlon Sing

  19. Calvin says:

    Hi All. The whole point of the lockdown was to flatten the curve of this virus and I think the president made the right call at the right time. If one looks at other countries where the death toll reveals staggering high death rates, then I am saddened by people who want to see racing go ahead because of money. Nobody has the right answer right now, not even the President, and it’s not his fault. This is all new to everyone. We not dealing with the common cold, or horse sickness, this is really something else. To those that are demanding answers, ask yourself, if maybe you have the perfect solution? Don’t attack the people in charge for no good reason. Hats off to all going the extra mile in ensuring horses are well taken care of.

  20. Van Niekerk says:

    It’s always A Worry For All Money Money. Nice

  21. Chris says:

    Donald and Marlon make excellent points.After Mr.Moodley’s lame reply and Mr.Hawkins abdication its good to see people who understand the crux of the problem.Does anyone think that the Hong Kong government just said carry on lads have a good time.No.I am sure they were lobbied by aggressive leaders within racing who I m sure went to extreme lenghts to persuade the Politians the importance of racing to the economy and to the thousands of people employed.They take all precauctions in terms of safety to the individuals who go to the course and the racing runs like a clock.I have to add that watching HK racing has been a pleasure.Every race on time,no false starts no re shoeing at the start.I wonder why?

  22. Gerh says:

    Either the Sporting Post has not published the entire letter of Mr Bloch or Mr Moodley needs to go back to school to learn how to read and understand questions. One of the two options has to be correct.

    Mr Moodley states that ‘The other issues of stakes etc, do not fall within my jurisdiction directly. Therefore no response attached.’ Mr Bloch never asked a question about stakes and never mentioned the word ‘stakes’ in his letter to Mr Moodley.

    It is a sad indictment on the NHRA to watch it obfuscate when there us no reason do so. It shows us that bs only baffles the utterer.

    1. Editor says:

      We are satisfied that we covered the letter from Mr Bloch and Mr Moodley’s response thereto in its entirety as received

  23. Gary Turf says:

    @Graeme Hawkins…..I respect you as a great commentator and a fairly good administrator who unlike most of the rest,does have a full compliment of brain cells.
    However Graeme,as said many times already by previous posters,when the lockdown happened,Government was not even APPROACHED,to enquire if we could carry on racing.
    Instead the easy and lazy approach was taken and it was shut down.
    How do you know,that if asked,Mr Ramaphosa and co may well have said racing may continue like it is in Hong Kong and Australia who in fact are fact experiencing similar lockdowns to ourselves?

    @Vee Moodley…..You came into racing as a young fellow and eventually turned into a fairly handicapper.
    However this is where you should have stayed.
    You do not have the capabilities to be the CEO of anything.As harsh as it may sound,we have to call a spade a spade.

    1. Editor says:

      We are walking a fine line here and need to play the ball and not the man and to stay within the ambit of our comments policy.
      Let’s not insult two gentlenan who have actually exposed themselves by engaging here with us.
      While they may not be providing solutions, and probably dont have the answers we want to hear, lets be civil
      There are a host of other leaders taking no notice of the concerns being expressed by owners and trainers – and we are called daily to request clarity.
      The frustration is at boiling point.

  24. Anand Chetty says:

    Well done Ed. Too much disrespect and insults on this chat.
    As Calvin rightly said, the president made the right call.
    If racing gets permission to continue, what stops football, rugby and other sporting codes seeking special concessions, namely spectator less events.
    Sadly, people need to appreciate, the purpose of the lockdown is to flatten the curve.
    There are NOT ENOUGH ICU beds if this pandemic hits proportions seen in Europe and the UK.
    For more information, speak to your doctor.
    As far as the financial implications are concerned banks are offering payment holidays for mortgage bonds and short term loans.
    We are ALL in this mess together

  25. jai says:

    poor leadership all were on the gravy train .
    they knew the ship will sink and guess what they excuss now is covid 19 such low lifes.

    and to all those trainers training their horses i hope you have an essential service permit if not you breaking the law.

  26. Henry Brown says:

    Human life is the most important without it horse racing will be dead

  27. Lg says:

    We are in a serious situation where we have a large undisciplined population. We can pray that we do not have an Italy or Spain on our hands. Can we find ways to survive as lockdown appear the only hope to curb this situation. No one is getting ahead. The world is one now. When this ends we can either pick up ashes or more forward even stronger. horseracing will live on.just some hope an patience is required.

  28. PL.NEL says:

    Dear Graham and V, you need to resign now. NOW.

    (*edited para*)

    Racing has been in trouble for some time, it has lost ground and soul at virtually every cornerstone. Thiefs and pretenders have raped it virtually completely dry.
    Some might not agree with my analysis but they cannot argue the present day result. Racing has and definitely had the ability to realize a huge economic market with so many jobs and livelihoods available which makes it unbearable to hear that this present situation offers no real help to owners. Being an owner is a privilege bearing responsibility and respect. Perhaps this title needs encouragement of old value.
    Whilst we need to look at role models that are working well (HK) it would be important to model our own flavour for all South Africans, thus based on live foundation of sustainability and not on politics.

    Policing in racing needs a dramatic overhaul. As a owner/breeder and having worked and been in the industry for over 30 years I am truly saddened to see how many races are not run to the book. Give a child the pantry key and he will go sugar mad, this will make him ill. In the same way our jocks have ruined the sport for all. They need to be stopped of punting and that includes their punters. These punters need to have their fingers ripped off our property and if this cannot be done then betting should be Tote only. These punters are costing the public, owners, trainers and in fact all of racing of what is truly theirs and is and has been faithfully shared with these sponges..

    This letter needs to carry on for so long but what the fish, its just my view. Dreams hey.

  29. Fourie says:

    I think the main question here is why can’t racing continue as was first stated on the 16Th. As I do understand most owners, grooms, jocks etc are currently working or staying at the tracks or training centre’s. Can’t racing continue like it was right before lock down? Australia is continuing with there racing. If we have no cases in our industry and Training yards are basically operating anyway, what is the risk for letting races go ahead? Is there any studies being done by NHA to see if a plan can be made? Or is everyone sitting back and waiting for better days?

  30. John says:

    My opinion.

    Without owners theres no horse racing period.owners should be contacted by they trainers on what’s happening going foward.i know horses have to eat but dont the family’s of owners have to eat??couldnt the racing board make arrangements with trainers to help out owners and give them some relief during this time I mean there is 9 races and only 9 horses can win on a card and earn a reasonable stake that only covers keeps for previous months and out of this 9 races i wonder who is really benefitting in taking the biggest peace of the pie.some owners have never even won a stake.most owners are now just there to fill the boxes on a race.remeber owners if you dont pay keeps even thou your horses arnt running just becarefull they dont go on auction..for the love of the sport.

  31. Marlon Sing says:

    I just read a very interesting comment and thus comes directly from a trainer,”Who thanks rich owners”this is absolutely bull,I think this trainer misses the point we all trying to make,we are not hitting back at trainers but directly to the racing decision makers BIG CHIEFS,but for a trainer to make a comment like that it is a disgrace,every owner in this industry is important,believe me if this Pandemic continues for another 2 years will those owners still pay you,if there is no income surely even the biggest and wealthiest owners are going to get tired of spending money,what we asking lead us into some direction as to when they expect racing to resume not worth saying they following lock down criteria,I have my own business I personally applied with the government to operate remotely,and me as the owner of the business signed documents, if I dont take the neccessary precaution ensuring the safety of my staff I will personally be held responsible.




    I personally feel Racing Authorities are to afraid to approach government because of the following reasons:

    A)Tote revenues will drop drastically,now we come back to the reason for this the biggest punters are the R5/R10 punters that contribute so much to the pools across the country,without them being able to place a bet because of the lockdown, most of them are old school they have to go to a tote to enjoy holding a ticket In there hand and watching a race.

    B)Only people that will benefit now if racing continues are the bookmakers,and if you put this whole aspect together bookmakers will make millions now and dont have to contribute a cent towards the racing operators.

    All this said it’s been 2 weeks now that we not racing,what happen to all the stakes for the races that were scheduled,cant racing authorities now use that money to assist in this pandemic,I’m sure no one is at work R.A,NHRA,PHUMELELA,GOLDCIRCLE all the monies that was meant to be used use it now to people in need.

  32. Lance Rooplall says:

    Vee and Graeme didn’t ask for lock down. They are like all of us abiding by the rules.

    Rules are Rules.
    Do not blame shift.

    Have patience, things will change.

  33. Cliffie says:

    I feel for all our small trainers. We at Flamingo are the ones suffering the most. I must say thank you to my owners M.Paddock. Johan Venter and also Holliwood bets and also our good frien Brian Jossel for offering his help and assistance to my stable in the time of need. If we start racing again Flamingo trainers and owners would have stood for 7weeks no racing. I hope that the operator will slot us in earlier than what our next racing date shows 11/May.

    The trainers here will most definitely need some assistance from The Ra maybe in the form of assistance with horsefeed for we are in the shit.

    A good suggestion from a fellow trainer was to open an bank account and the bigger roleplayers in the game to put money into that acc and to give it to a trustworthy person to run and then when we in this situation we can call on the person to assist and buy the trainers food for their animals.

    We all in this together big and small we need to look after the poorer trainers. Racing will not exist with only the big stables.
    Please look at this fund so that we can call on people to consider these options and to support this idea. Money govt got will not be for us even if we apply so we need this fund for trainers

    Maybe the operator can give us free stabling for the month of May as well. The RA can perhaps waiver all outstanding noms for March. We neede very little penny to go to horsefeed.

    Only one word from us the small trainers is HELP Please
    Certain stables is on the verge of closing in Kimberley

  34. Cliffie says:

    I read one article about owners sure we can’t carry on without them. In my article i must also mention Collin Gordon my other owner and Kevin Hunter. They are all battling but i know they won’t flee a sinking ship. We should stop putting the blame on everybody let us try and work together plse.

    I would also like to know why we cannot race behind lock doors.
    Did anybody go and talk to goverment?

  35. Len Bloch says:

    I am blown away by the response by many people to my original e mail to Mr.Moodley.
    From a financial position,I am more than able to keep my two horses and have the utmost trust in my trainer and her ability to keep the two in the manner to which they have become accustomed to.
    This for me IS NOT ABOUT MONEY but the short and long term future of a sport very close to my heart,bringing much pleasure and enjoyment in my twilight years.
    The key here is actually my VERY FIRST QUESTION POSED.
    Was a government directive issued to NHRA to stop racing..
    We have an answer which in fact was NO.
    Were the correct and safe steps put in place to continue with the continuance of SAFE ghost race meetings,once again ,YES.
    Were the racing community at large consulted to close down the ghost meetings,once again NO.
    Management in their ivory towers have actually shafted the racing industry big time.
    IF consultation,across the board had in fact taken place with ALL role players, without a government directive to stop racing,ghost meerings would and still would be on the go.
    I have great empathy for many that have in effect lost or will lose their only source of income.
    I believe that the breeders in the end will be the biggest losers with yearlings waiting to be sold,one sale already having been cancelled and a big one towards the end of this month guarateed to be cancelled.
    This ALL comes back to my initial comment that without owners,racing ceases as an entity.
    If ghost meetings were acceptable before why not now to at least keep things ticking over.
    I do not accept ,in any way, the excuse that NHRA took the decision to stop ghost racing because of what the president said.
    We weree safe before and can be safe again under the conditions used before.
    Just a few more head scratchers for people to wrap their heads around.
    In closing,yes,there was further communication between Mr.Moodley and myself which at this point have not appeared in print.
    Len Bloch.

    1. Editor says:

      This subsequent email exchange between Mr Bloch and Mr Moodley was placed on record with us after the initial letter and response had been published:
      Mr Bloch wrote:

      Thank you for your very prompt response to my e mail.
      It would help if owners were kept up to date on developments and what is envisaged for the foreseeable future by the NHRA and by this I mean,are there plans afoot to maybe restart racing after the additional two week lockdown?
      Surely discussions and some planning must be in the pipeline.
      Please keep all owners and trainers up to date with what your thinking is.
      Len Bloch.

      Then Mr Moodley responds:
      Dear Mr Bloch
      I can assure you that from a NHA perspective, we have organized permits etc for ALL ESSENTIAL staff within our sector nationally to ENSURE that the welfare of horses are in tact. The team have done starting stalls yesterday Nationally in the ANTICIPATION that Racing would resume. Yes, you are spot on, there should be more communication BUT also the situation is so “ fluid” at the moment, that sending concrete information is becoming difficult at times.
      It seems as though Racing would resume on 01 May, we shall try and ascertain if we could revert to “ closed door” racing sooner? We in communication with Government, and to be fair to them as stated earlier, Their concern is being dominated by preservation of life above anything else. I am hopeful that our “ Covid – 19 “ curve flattens and we get an exemption to commence earlier.
      The sustainability of the SA Racing Industry is highly dependent on the staging of Racing. There is no other way to survive. It’s TOP priority.
      Am sure a joint release from all operators will be sent early next week now that we have confirmation that the “ Lockdown “ has been extended & the rules not relaxed.
      Thank you in advance for your understanding.
      Vee Moodley

    2. Editor says:

      Just to clarify re National Yearling Sale
      Provisionally postponed to 20 May.
      Chris Haynes confirmed yesterday that the Board is meeting this week and they will review that, based on their original statement.

  36. Basil says:

    If I’m not mistaken, pardon me if I am, it was reported that Kenilworth Racing was not going to charge trainers stable rental during the blockdown . If so have they passed this benefit onto the struggling owners whose dilemmas are worsened by the thought of further stake reductions.

  37. Donald says:

    I think you are missing the point ! Nobody is saying lockdown is not necessary but what some are saying is what are those elected paid executives / managers / task team doing about attempting to get the show on the road again by negotiating with government to commence horse racing again under whatever agreed conditions , if that will be at all possible ?

    All they need to do is put out a press release defining exactly what is being done , by who and how to get the industry back on its feet as soon as circumstances permit ?

    If for whatever reason this work must be done in secrecy , and if that is the case , that in itself would be a shame then put out the press release to this effect ?

    The problem at present is nothing is heard from the paid executives / managers / task team that I understand was set up to deal with matters / issues during the lockdown period and that is a concern for all involved in the industry from top to bottom and bottom to top !

    1. Editor says:

      Hundred percent with you on this one Donald.
      There is no detail at all.
      And the two press releases issued so far by the task team have said little

  38. Cecil Pienaar says:

    More Mnr Miller.

    Meeste kommentaar hierbo van almal, myself ingesluit, gaan oor jou laaste vraag – Het enigiemand met Staat gepraat ?

    Antwoord is duidelik Nee, want die sogenaamdes in beheer kan nie reguit antwoorde gee nie. Dit blyk hulle gee f#kk#l om, dis hoogs, vol betaalde mense wat nou van die huis af werk. Hulle antwoorde is “automated responses”

    Ek sien min blame game, meer frustrasie wat uitkom. Jy Ken die ou storie van Ons werk saam –
    ” Meeste werk, en party is saam ” in die geval base

    In summary, not only Kimberley is forgotten, all centres are, and yes help should start with you guys. Sadly GC is also quiet, there must be smaller trainers battling as well in my province.

    In the meantime start your appeal for Donations into a fund, my opinion, you’re the right person to run it.

    Sterkte Mnr Miller en Ander. Geseende Paasfees

  39. Hilton witz says:

    The following is taken from the presidents speech on thursday night …we will use the coming days to evaluate how we will embark on risk adjusted measures that can enable a phased recovery of the economy allowing the return to operation of certain sectors under strictly controlled conditions..please explain in baby english i dont understand this comment…i get the feeling that the operators havent got the money to pay even half stakes and are waiting for loans to be approved before considering the return to racing ..

  40. Dorrie Sham says:

    Mr Sing…you missed my point totally …my point is that owners are asking trainers to give discounts because they not racing . With race horses you can’t skimp on care if you expect a horse to be competitive. Do you also know that trainers are actually their biggest owners? (Mainly due to non payers who just dump horses or renege on sales agreements) The Vaal did a survey and here the trainers own 52% of horses in training.

    We had colors long before starting to train but understood the logistics of keeping a racehorse and never not paid a trainer. The fact that we now have a strong owner base is how we run our business and shouldn’t need your derogatory “rich owner” statement.

    Phumelela are in talks with the government but ……
    A The government has much bigger worries than racing so Racing is down their list.
    B We were hoping (and still are) to race behind closed doors however it will not be viable to hold a race meeting in this fashion at the moment as takeouts from betting turnover currently won’t cover stakes. People are struggling to keep alive and certainly won’t be betting over feeding their family. No totes are open so no betting money into stakes pot. The biggest online betting company is Hollywood so no money back to stakes. Is that the Hefer family fault that they built up a thriving business ??

    If the NHA did more about checking financial credentials before giving colors to people who in the long term can’t financially afford a racehorse then there would also not be this problem of non payers. People need to understand that horses have to eat regardless of circumstances and that costs.

    Let me assure you that the whole racing fraternity is working hard to get back to racing ASAP.

    Mark and Dorrie

  41. Bridget says:


    When we get out of this predicament heads should roll and culling should begin, starting from the bottom Because you have 12 mares , some great pastures and a couple bob doesn’t make you a Breeder , lovely individuals but not a breeder. Limit the number of bad horses going to sales just to supplement a bad crop of cabbages or wine , ie born to mediocre 1 one time winning mares that fetch bombs from Big farms that can’t run, that cuts out mediocre trainers and breeders that literally hang on for poorer or worse , that attracts the wrong element of owner, yes money does not buy you class , but yes that cuts out owners that walk into the parade ring in shorts , yes I know it’s hot but you come from Aircon for 20 min you can go back, enforce a law that brings back respectability and pride to your fellow owners and the sport. And to those trainers feeling the pinch amalgamate your business interests and owners , what’s wrong with 3 trainers forming a partnership , then you can watch one another like any business, put your pride ego and trophies in the cabinet and share , you will even get better rates from feed farriers vets who fact in the fact they don’t get paid immediately, oh don’t forget transport savings and the culling of admin positions because you fudge the law jockeys and punters .

    Government permitted too many bookmaker licenses hence Tote turnover down on exotics the bookmaker carrying the risk of hundreds of thousands each day cos its mostly on tick for big punters no proper bookmaker control , the software flawed ,prohibit the rule on P6 Pot Jacks where you lose nearly 25% before you start, most smaller punters prefer PA and Football 20 selections for 20 bucks.

    Racing Clubs with bonafide respected individuals of commerce not some clowns with limited experience with shares in horses so they can be controlled going forward to unanimously gain a casting vote
    Nobody in administration or running such office including commentators , directors of racing should own shares in a race horse to supplement their income . Really it’s disgusting it always leads to finger pointing.

    The real reason the decay has set in because because we have gutless leaders with hidden agendas, Bloodstock agents and their hangers on controlling the purse strings and may I say owning bookmaker licenses or controlling such.

    Other than the current lockdown , there is no respect left because most have pulled a move on the other in racing hence we will never be able to gain unity or good faith in setting up accounts funds or the like , unless we have policeman and we know they can be bought. There is little Faith and Respect left amongst Thieves

  42. Michael Jacobs says:

    Horseracing is different to all other sports and social activities in that it involves an animal being ridden and involves virtually no human contact whatsoever. Soccer, rugby, cricket and other activities involve direct human contact. For goodness sake, shopping for food involves human contact- till operators, salesfloor staff, security guards, suppliers- i know,as I work in a retail store. I am more at risk than any jockey, trainer, groom or racing official will ever be!

    So there is absolutley no reason why horse racimg cannot continue under strict safety protocols as before? Two prominent racing famiies (Oppenheimers and the Ruperts) made the largest financial donations (in the world!) to the South African govt. Surely they can lead the negotiations with the govt to restart racing, 2 Bllion rand should count for something?!

    Let’s race responsibly again. Now.

  43. Rod Mattheyse says:

    It’s sad but unfortunately justifiable that most stakeholders have no trust in the NHA or operators. We have reached a position where we want proof of actions, sadly none is forthcoming – I wonder who has the graft?

  44. Bridget says:


    How can we expect these individuals with salaries and perks earning millions a month contents with Covid 19 Easter eggs and Racing when they can’t do things timorously under normal circumstances

    As Mr Wainstein said about his resignation it was to pursue his private businesses, what a joke. As Benny Hill says put more men on the job

  45. Bridget says:

    You 100% BUT they didn’t tell you the proceeds were to go to BEE companies of 51%
    Back to sq one

  46. Marlon Sing says:

    Dorrie sham,all you Just said was to justify your statement,you said lucky you have certain owners that paints a picture that other owners who are questioning the regulator are moaning to pay,you read it all wrong,why you never mentioned what you did in the reply to myself then you wouldn’t have got a answer like that from me about your comments that is why I used derogatory language “Rich Owners”,the “Rich Owners” themselves will get fed up just now.I am a owner I can go to the sales and buy for millions and pay my bills every month,this is a totally different scenario look at a bigger picture if this goes in for 3 to 6 months can or will a owner choose between his horse or providing for his family….Times are getting tough we have to preserve what we have.The Racing Authority is doing absolutely nothing to help the industry many trainers,take the carry over money and help trainers in dire straits,we can always pick up on the economy when things come right.Not worth having billions in your bank account and not helping human life,every single south african is struggling.

  47. Editor says:

    Suggestion on Sporting Post Facebook page from Wian Rossiter:
    Just Suggestion:
    Northern Cape province has only 15 cases of Corona virus…I not sure how many has Kimberley but my suggestion is.
    Why not try to open racing in Kimberley behind close doors.
    they can have 3 meetings a week Monday, Wenesday and Saterday… just a suggestion to get racing started.

  48. Marlon Sing says:

    Yes that’s a good idea ask the government for permission in that way trainers who suggest owners are moaning and groaning for no reason this will prove that as long as there is racing anywere in the country that’s fine,even if our own horses dont run thats still okay I speak for myself in regards to this,because certain small stables are not as fortunate as the bigger stables,but only Kimberly also p.e.

  49. Hilton witz says:

    Kimberly hasnt got the horse population to race 3 times a week plus the jockeys and officials dont reside there so its a logistical nightmare..natal on the other hand has 99 percent of their horse population at 2 training centres and could quite easily race 3 times a week

  50. Leonard Bloch says:

    I have read,with great interest,ALL COMMENTS made thus far.
    Racing per se is a totally non contact sport.
    I therefore go back to my original question posed, was the NHRA instructed by government to cease the ghost meetings.
    The answer, very clearly answered was NO.
    On the basis of this,why would there be any need to in fact apply to government for ghost meetings to be restarted?
    I am at a stage of trying to keep an open mind on events to date but alas,I think i smell a rat.
    NHRA are not coming clean with information being fed to all stakeholders within the industry.
    Maybe it is time for HONESTY to come to the fore.
    I somehow believe that the start and the end of this story is to do with finance,not from owners and trainers,but from within the NHRA.
    Read into that what you will.
    What is the possibility of there not being enough money in the kitty to even put up sufficient money for stakes, to run a mid week small meeting?
    Just a thought.

  51. John says:

    So glad to see owners standing up for themselves.trainers should realise how owners gave them the chance to shine now they have a huge string which makes them earn good monthly keeps and they also earn get a percentage when the horse wins which gives them oppertuninty to purchases and own horses on they own and even win more races than normally owners can.it still goes to show they only have respect for those big owners who names gets a mention well done guys.

  52. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…Why can’t racing continue ? it’s simple to answer that question for guys that haven’t figured out by now…Because there’s no MONEY HONE ,, THE GOLDEN POT IS EMPTY,,it suits Phumelela not to continue racing…What if or if…(*edit) the rainy days we’ll worry about that at a later stage

  53. Frankie says:

    Frankie Zackey…On what grounds did the click go on by purchasing Superbets for 400 Golden Bars,,Yes you heard correct 400 Golden Bars,,they deserve a Oscar for (*edit) up the most loved game/sport in record time…I’ve dedicated 52 years of my life to the game and now ?

  54. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Mr Bloch, well done with your letter, enquiry…

    If you were an owner / trainer, you wouldn’t have been able to go public, unless you were prepared for the backlash later..

    The responses here are clear. Very few, including myself are disputing the lock down.

    What hurts is the total lack of leadership, no feedback, reassurances, assistance of any kind, cause it’s Easter or Covid ? Nah, this goes back a long time.

    As a matter of fact, same attitude is shown as the bunch before CR.

    That’s me on this topic.

    PS – The word Nafi comes to mind 🤔

  55. Jacques Oosie Oosthuizen says:

    I ve been involved in horse racing for 40 years. And i have always told everyone that not even the presdent of the country can stop a race off time. I WAS WRONG. There is a lock down that everyone must adhere to. If we dont. Horseracing will never be the same as what it has been all this time.it effects all owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms and punters. This Carona virus will stop horse racing as we know it. So stop moaning and give the NHRA a chance to sort things out and keep things going. For as long as i can remember Graham Hawkins has alway been involved in racng. Give him a chance to sort things out. If you cant take the heat get out of the kitchen.

  56. Leon Lotz says:

    Bridget very good points.
    Cliffie jy en Jan Borman en dalk Steffie kan nou n partnership vorm en teen n ander partnership race.Mooi dan is daar net twee trainers in Kimberley. Jy moet net nie vir Oom Janna kwaad maak nie 🤣🤣🤣
    I did not feel safe racing in Kimberley the last meeting a duely scratch my horses for PE the same week.As a private trainer I can spread the virus to a racing centre or else bring it to my farming community where I live.I did ask myself what would the consequenses be if just one groom,jockey,official,trainer pick up this virus?????Have any of you been in the grooms quaters in Kimberley or PE.Think what we do when we saddle horses and what about the difficult ones.A hospital was closed down in Natal .How can we think it is safe to race.The last Kimberley meeting grooms got masks and the same bibbies(number that the groom wear) were used in every race.
    This virus has got nothing to do with leadership.It is more like the drought we have experienced the past years,no leadership can fix it,you have to wait for the rain.Bridget ,Oom Nic Claassen told me once when I was his assistant”onthou trainers,jokkies en telers maak nie kampijoene nie,perde maak mense”.As jy grond het kan jy perde teel as jy wil en dalk goeies ook.
    Something to close,as a wool and mohair farmer we are sitting on everything we sheared,there is no sales in the near future.No leadership can give any answers and wrightfull so .
    I pray for all the trainers and everybody involved that nobody will get the virus.

  57. Martin le Roux says:

    Not a comment but a question. Marlon Sing Tells Mr. Bloch that he cant be making money from racing else he would have seen his winners. How many horses do you Mr. Sing have in training as I cant recall your winners either. The stake money comes from betting pools so the stake money isn’t just lying around waiting for racing to resume.

  58. Gary Turf says:

    @ Leon lotz
    Well if Australia and Hong Kong and the Usa think it’s safe to race,who are we to argue?

  59. Speedyvar says:

    Gary Turf,if Singapore,New Zealand France Britain and Ireland think it is unsafe to race who are we to argue.

  60. Gman says:

    @Speedyvar Im sure Gary Turf didnt see that coming.lol!!!

  61. Marlon Sing says:

    MR LE ROUX read my comment properly before you comment any further I you read it properly you wont make a comment like this,yes I have 5 horses and out of the 5, 3 won,besides the question of how many horses I own,I never once took the stakes money I’m am truly not in this game for the money,I gamble that’s my fun in this game and you can ask hollywoodbets they know me extremely well, the first line in my comment will tell you who I directed my comment to,I stand by bloch 100%.

  62. Graham HJ says:

    All my worst fears confirmed…..they have abandoned ship and there are no life boats left. Moodleys response is arrogant beyond extreme and he has hidden behind the words of the president, thats just cowardly. These people should not survive this, SA racing is dead with them at the helm they feel nothing for the industry. Have they taken a pay cut ? of course not, not even thought about, self preservation is the order of the day. We should be racing, common sense and standard health guidelines is the order of the day but there is no one who will push this as they simply do not know what to do. The people who are vulnerable should be isolated and protected not the fit and healthy ( when the real numbers come out then we shall see who just got played, Quinine works, the media are a nasty lot )…….I see Bridget has got it and a few others, its rotten….The bickering whether we should open or stay closed sums up the lack of leadership anywhere in the industry and the lack of commitment to racing in the Ivory Towers. We should not be proud to say “look we are closed” it should be the other way round……

  63. Calvin Naidoo says:

    “The people who are vulnerable should be isolated and protected, not the fit and healthy…” Anybody who thinks like how you do, clearly has no respect for human life…That in itself is as good as handing somebody the death sentence.

  64. Jonathan says:

    Just a thought….no cash reserves, no open totes, not enough tote income….no racing.
    Lockdown eases…totes are open, tote income possible, racing continues….Am I missing something

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