EU Audit Outcome Or Striker Pension – Your Choice

Imminent: defined as 'about to happen'

A sense of humour is important in life and the latest match race doing the rounds on some horseracing whatsapp groups is a toss of the coin over which of the EU Audit Report or Piere Strydom’s retirement will run first.

At the age of 56, multiple champion Piere Strydom showed again on Saturday that there are few better value riders in the world.

Now that Joey Soma’s Lady Of Power has given the old-timer a genuine shot at the Wilgerbosdrift SA Triple Tiara, who can blame him for hanging in and going for another glorious chapter on his extraordinary cv?

No jockey in our history has reached the Striker stratosphere and even the late Lester Piggott ‘only’ rode 4493 winners. Lester retired close to 60 years of age after having ridden his first winner at the age of 12. Striker started later, so maybe he has a few years left?

While we are all thrilled to have Striker stretching his career, the EU audit outcome is a less happy, and almost taboo, subject. And in the media, we take daily stick for simply ignoring it.

Writing in the National Horseracing Authority’s 2022 Annual Report, Chairperson Nittia Nalliah confirms that South Africa has had no direct access to overseas racing and breeding markets since 2013.

NHA Chairperson Nittia Nalliah

He says that bloodstock has had to undergo 90 days of quarantine in Mauritius and further periods of isolation at either end of each journey.

Over the years, more so the last two, a lot of work has been put in by the South African stakeholders, including the national government, alongside the international community to create and implement a world-class system that would allow for a favourable outcome from the European Audit that took place in October 2022.

A successful conclusion of the audit will create an opportunity for the direct export of horses from South Africa to participate in the globalisation of racing.

Horse Export

The final outcome of the audit and the report is still awaited, but we are optimistic about a favourable outcome.

We also understand that there have been some changes to the European Union legislation, and some of our policies may need to be adjusted to align with those changes. These are expected to be included in the European Union Audit report.

Mr Nalliah suggests that the draft report is tentatively expected ‘sometime in December 2022 or soon thereafter’ as we have been advised there could be a slight delay.

Once the draft report has been published, the NHA together with the relevant stakeholders will have to comment whereafter the final report will be issued after the comments from South Africa have been considered, concludes Mr Nalliah.

At the end of October we reported that SA Equine Health and Protocols NPC (SAEHP) had confirmed that the auditors have completed their on-the-ground investigation and that it will be 30 odd days for the draft report, whereafter South Africa will have an opportunity to comment.

Since then, silence.

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