Fairview Jockey Fall – Outcry And Answers Demanded

This was a blunder of serious proportions

There has been widespread social media reaction from the South African racing community following the apparent failure of  officials at Fairview on Friday to stop a race after a jockey came down early in the contest.

Gabriell Pieterse – fell and probably lucky to be alive today (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

The final race at Fairview on Friday was run over 2000m on the polytrack.

Gauteng-based Jockey Gabriell Pieterse was dislodged from his mount Maidens Cove just as they went into the first turn, and the rest of the field headed off into the country.

Pieterse was being attended to in the pull-up area where he fell, while the race was allowed to progress and was run in full from start to finish.

Gabriell, who is a tough motocrosse rider of some standing, confirmed on social media today that he had just come out of plastic surgery after reconstruction of his ear and the side of his face.

A brave Gabriell gives a thumbs up from hospital

“My nose is broken and will only be fixed next week. I have fractured my jaw and cheek too.  I have lost a lot of blood and am still very weak but I am sure to get back to it soon enough. Very thankful too that my brain is still the same. Thank goodness there is no internal bleeding. Thank you to absolutely everyone for all the love and to the paramedics who helped me breathe while I was drowning in my own blood,” he wrote.

Experienced racing experts have expressed disbelief that the race was not stopped and that the injured jockey and attendant medics were effectively exposed to being trampled.

A retired jockey suggested that the NHA and 4Racing have some explaining to do as to why they put lives at risk, and why any jockey should continue riding in South Africa without assurances that this will not happen again.

It is not known whether the raceday officials considered it acceptable to continue the race, or simply whether no facilities exist to halt a race in progress. 

In Hong Kong, a siren is placed at 300m intervals to cover similar incidents.

The Sporting Post has been told that certain people on course tried to assemble others to create a guide line so that they could wave their arms and create a human warning system of sorts.

The Stipes report has not yet been published for the meeting.

The Sporting Post have written to the NHA and 4Racing to request a comment and to make a public statement.

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