Home » Racing & Sport » Fairview – So Does Life Just Go On Now?

Fairview – So Does Life Just Go On Now?

Silence from the authorities is deafening

A 49 year old arrested at Fairview on Thursday on charges of public violence and malicious damage to property is set to appear in court today.

The unnamed person was arrested following violence at the racecourse and training centre.

There have been no arrests for the killing of a horse, and the alleged wounding of several more.

In a video of the protest, which has been circulating on social media, a large group of people can be seen entering the racecourse and running toward the horse sheds.

Between 150 and 200 protesters stormed the property, broke the locks of the stables and freed around 28 horses early in the morning.

“The horses were freed and were forced out of the property by assaulting them. They were reported to be running in all directions with their abusers, taunting them with sticks and stones,” an SAPS spokesperson said.

According to a statement by owners, The International Racing Club, workers who were fired for standing in solidarity with a fellow employee who stabbed a horse, protested on the grounds and “chaos” erupted.

In their statement, club spokesperson Michael de Haast, whose horses were affected, condemned the manner in which the protesters raised their grievances.

The International Racing Club called for action and for all training to be halted until the matter is resolved.

Racing went ahead on Friday, and not a reference was made to the events of 24 hours earlier – as if it never happened.

Another IRC spokesman, Joao Da Mata indicated that the International Racing Club have instructed trainers of their SA-based horses to run in club colours black as a passive protest and a call to action by the National Horseracing Authority and Phumelela.

In a statement published on Saturday, the IRC stated that the silence from the NHRA and Phumelela regarding the catastrophe in PE is ‘worrying’.

“Not a phone call or a message of empathy. So many lives affected and no press statement,” said Joao Da Mata.

Leading Fairview owner Hedley McGrath said in a Clocking The Gallop interview on Saturday that he was holding Phumelela responsible.

Watch the interview here

The Sporting Post has written to the management of Phumelela, the Racing Association, the National Horseracing Authority and Phumelela Business Rescue Head, John Evans.

Beyond some feedback from the racing regulator and an interview by a senior NHRA Executive, the silence is deafening.

There were also suggestions from senior stakeholders that we contact the Racing Task Team and MOD,

Denial, apathy and a gross lack of leadership has gotten racing into the mess it’s in today.

And it’s another very sad turn in the road to nowhere when Thursday 17 September is simply fobbed off as a ‘private labour dispute’.

Have Your Say

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages everyone to feel free to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that The Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their real and verified names, you can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the Editor. The Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

The views of any individuals that are published are NOT necessarily the views of The Sporting Post.

8 comments on “Fairview – So Does Life Just Go On Now?

  1. Steve Reid says:

    Judging on previous conduct, I would hazard a very accurate guess that both Phumelela and the NHA have gone into full Ostrich mode. Ignoring the problem with it eventually going away, is a long tried and tested remedy to any inconvenient problem.

  2. Inel Bekker says:

    Time to stand up against this horrific things. Where is every body?

  3. DEAN DEMONT says:

    On numerous occasions now, I’ve commented on the lack of leadership by the NHRA and Phumelela. Its time for change. I wish people would stand by me and we get onto the racetrack and boycott racemeetings until, the gravytrain gets derailed. Enough is enough, it’s a disgrace what Phumelela have done and they are still steering the sunken ship. I wish to apply for a position there.. been in the game far too long, and end of the day, they have to face the consequences of these “grooms” running amok. It is a disgrace what is happening to SA horseracing and it’s time they get removed for good.

  4. Tony Mincione says:

    Fairview Thursday was a lousy day.

    We handled it about as badly as we could though. Pangas? Shotguns? Who doesn’t think we would just be better off entirely without horseracing after that?

    For such a vibrant sport, with a million opinions, we did the Ostrich Manouver with great skill. All the usual outlets just buttoned down and the default position was just to hope “this too will pass” and say absolutely nothing if possible.

    I had about half a dozen reports of calls from the top down to “shut up”. If even one is true… but even as a sceptic I believe them all.

    What took over was social media and contradictions and (what looked like) fake news everywhere. Inerested people were left reading the most inflamatory stuff on the internet.

    We decided that the worst thing that could happen was news of this human relations disaster to escape our shores.

    So the whole narrative was the understandably disgruntled owner/trainer with their views the only “official” ones and the rest was commentry from news-conveyers who had to look up “horse racing” on wikipeadea and find old pictures of mobs.

    A few non-racing people called me to say that what they saw on Thursday all looked like @#$%^& and they unanimously said what they saw online looked completely untrustworthy. It’s a small sample, but I could imagine anyway. It left people to come to conclusions all fed by their already made-up minds.

    So the PR disaster is about as bad as we could make it. A good friend of mine is utterly convinced “racing just hates itself”. Maybe when we start being honest, we can start liking ourselves again, and get proud again.

    “Leadership” as we have it, is trying to do what it thinks looks good, rather than the much more difficult “what’s right”. All of them who thought that turning the light off was the way to go, please just resign because you do not have what this will take.

    Covering up bad things is what children do. The grown ups need to admit the problem, to work on the solution. As a Sport, racing better recognise the skill and years of service from grooms really soon.

    Leaving the trainers as individuals to handle a large, co-operative, and essential workforce is now just patently unfair to them (trainers – and grooms). What a single trainer may do could impact all the others.

    I read somewhere the NHRA’s number 1 priority a year or so back was “the grooms issue”. Here’s a question then: At the big meeting on Thursday evening to organise the Friday meeting, who invited the (outsider) grooms to the table? Make him/her the leader.

  5. David Allan says:

    An enormous opportunity to turn this awful Fairview situation to the advantage of horse racing is being missed. Perhaps it is no surprise. SA Racing and Breeding has no meaningful mouth piece domestically or internationally when it comes to its profile outside the almost closed shop. Individual bloodstock stakeholders struggle to find customers with no pan-industry help in any department. A small number of committed-to-SA overseas people battle to hold overseas attention or even for credibility. SA journalists (present company excepted) are often constrained for fear of their salaries or advertising revenue being cancelled. When something is good, it becomes “phenomenal” (the current buzzword). There is very little perspective.

    The reporting of Thursday’s events was appallingly bad and/or false and/or hysterical. “Hysterical” or ranting is understandable under the circumstances if coming from the damaged protagonists and/or non-professional writers or broadcasters. But where are the local correspondents or reliable eye-witnesses upon whom media would surely pounce – or failing that, interviews with other trainers or vets? Even during the race meeting (??) next day, so I am told. It was known to have happened. It was shocking. The truths of the matter must be unearthed quickly.

    Instead we get seemingly fake news (in both extremes including snow-job) and later begin to piece together information so that we can deal with enquiries at home and abroad. The industry as a body is as good as silent. The recent police statements have helped, it must be said, but only up to the same point reached by police statements anywhere.

    So what is this missed opportunity? Think laterally. Many people of many South African backgrounds expressed horror at the attacks on the horses on social media. Hundreds of them. The incident is not secret. There is a case for an immediate TV mini-documentary for news and social media outlets all over the country explaining why so many people are so horrified at the sheer concept of terrorising thoroughbred horses in the name of an industrial dispute. Introduce the horses to a broader base of people in this way; show their magnificence and the passion felt by so many people close to them; show the foals and the farm staff.

    Answer the question “Why are people so furious?” and at the same time highlight how many of those people in the nation rely on this creature for their livelihoods whilst, mostly, caring for them or about them day in day out. It is a golden opportunity to make a meaningful number of people take an interest.

    Hire 50 volunteers to send copies to as many of the Twitterati who have shouted their horror as they can find and ask them to “pass it on”. Same on other platforms. And make sure that the presenter(s) – South African or brought in – avoid the verbosity and long monologues, with apologies to those who do not go on and on, that have so many people turning the sound off. Make it all about the horses and the sport and industry people associated with them. “This is why people are so furious”.

  6. Cecil Pienaar says:

    Oh yes off course. Life just goes on. Pools are up nicely, no more pay cuts. Jokers between 0 and 50% or whatever during Lockdown, ja right ….Some are probably still working from home, along with Frankie’s mate in the UK. The Good times are back, cannot get involved in doing your jobs and make unpopular decisions. It’ll pass, too far away from home Afr words that come to mind, slap g*tte en bang g*tte…

  7. Willi Coates says:

    Security Matters? What is significantly obvious from this latest incident is that security at South Africa’s racecourses are woefully inadequate. What are the NHRA’s security requirements of Operators? Will this be reviewed? What are the Operators roles and responsibilities regarding the safety of horses and people at racetracks?

    How and when will the security management and procedures at tracks be reviewed and beefed up?

    How will future “riotess” assemblies of this nature be managed? There will definitely be more given the muted reaction to the last two which have been conveniently ignored.

    The Silence is Deafening. Staff, Horses, Owners and Trainers are clearly unimportant and on their own in this business model.

    Clearly new management’, new ideas and a new business model which value the investors in the horse racing industry is blatantly overdue.

  8. cruisoe says:

    I would suggest that readers of Sporting post and other media who love racing put a boycott on punting for 1 month until the big shots articulate a plan on how to resolve this. Dhow them where the power actually lies. The punter is ultimately King.

Leave a Comment

‹ Previous

Monday Racing Menu

Next ›

Duncan Howells (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

Hollywoodbets Greyville – Another Tough Day?

Popular Posts