July 2018


A New Season with New Challenges

With the renewal of the southern hemisphere racing season on 1 August 2018, July brings down the curtain on a year filled with surprises, disappointments, strikes and many changes.

The Snaith team dominated the entire season, clinching the 2017/2018 Trainer’s Championship, nearly R6.5 million clear of their nearest rival, Sean Tarry. Snaith dominated the features in Cape Town in the summer, and crowned off a superb season by saddling the first three past the post in Gr1 Vodacom Durban July. Mike de Kock will finish in third place on the log.

What a phenomenal year it has been for Apprentice Jockey Lyle Hewitson. The last apprentice to win the Jockey’s Championship was Michel “Muis” Roberts, all the way back in the 1973.

With some resolute determination, this talented young rider has prevailed against some exceptional and experienced jockeys. It is an absolutely outstanding achievement.

Amidst all the euphoria of the winter racing around the country we had to deal with unfortunate strikes by grooms and totalisator staff. The situation leads to heavy tension between the trainers and their staff. However, this brought a sobering reality to the fore – the grooms play a big role in the mainstream economy and value chain of horseracing. We must do whatever it takes to get them to occupy their rightful place as a critical component of the industry.

In June trainer Leon Erasmus passed away. He was a part of the Highveld racing fraternity for over 25 years. His charisma and humour will be sorely missed. In July Johan de Bruyn, best remembered as the trainer of the multiple Gr1 winning sprinter Goldmark, also passed on. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of both gentlemen.

The NHA has made good progress in our journey to excellence, although it has not been smooth sailing at all. The Stud Book Department had a particularly challenging year. The Laboratory was damaged when a fire broke out. The trainers expressed their discontent at the severity of fines and penalties. We have a bumpy ride ahead of us in the year to come, but we are focused and ready for what lies ahead.

Overall, the crowning jewel of the entire year must be that South Africa has been chosen to host the next Asian Racing Conference in 2020. Cape Town will be abuzz with industry insiders and racing enthusiasts from around the world. We intend to put our best foot forward, extend our warmest welcome and dazzle the delegates with the sights and sounds of what our Rainbow Nation has to offer.

In anticipation of a wonderful new season, we will buckle up, settle down, look upward, all the while keeping our feet firmly on the ground. 



Horseracing forensics is one of the most technical and method demanding fields in analytical chemistry. Extreme sensitivity is required for forbidden substance screening and for the confirmation of positive findings. A contributing expertise factor is required for the wide range of prohibited substances that are investigated. Horse urine is a notoriously dirty and viscous specimen type and therefore produces data with an exceedingly high background level. Furthermore, the data for positive findings must be of a very high quality and specificity for prosecution.

For this reason, the chromatography linked mass spectrometry instrumentation employed at the NHA Laboratory is extremely advanced. The expertise required in utilising this instrumentation to its full capability and potential demands well trained and experienced scientists. With such infrastructure and expertise in place, the Laboratory is capable of achieving a competent level of research and development.

This is evident from our advanced routine methodology for screening and confirmation. It is therefore attractive for analytical suppliers to provide instruments for our Laboratory. Their product and reputation is favourably reflected by the quality of our scientific work, instrument maintenance and ultimate performance. They are aware that assistance and training provided by our Laboratory staff is of a high standard and it will therefore be a good advertisement for their product. Assistance and training provided at our facility is reciprocated by the supplier in the form of benefits which include future pricing or servicing.

During June 2018 the local agent Anatech, of the large international instrument supplier Thermo Fisher Scientific, contracted our Laboratory to train and best equip forensic scientists who also use their advanced instruments. Two scientists, Mr Jacob Gabriel and Mr Kagera Ngweshemi from the Tanzanian government forensic laboratories were trained on the two Thermo Exactive instruments we have. The accompanying picture shows one of these training sessions. In the background is Dr Salome Smit who is a ThermoFisher service engineer and a specialist application chemist at Anatech. 



Shumbashaba hosted their three day holiday program in July for around 400 children from Diepsloot, which was a roaring success.

They offered soccer, cricket, face painting, pony rides, a bird display, presentation from Friends of Free Wildlife and the Society for Animals in Distress – and much more.

They also held a Talent Contest - 150 children entered and boy did they rock. Take a look at some of the talent on show in the photos in the article, from equestrian vaulting to dancing, drama, poetry recitals etc.

Part of the Talest Contents was a young man who built Model houses and based them on actual architects drawings. Now isn’t that awesome!!!!

A big THANK YOU to Tumi Hlongwane for arranging and organising the holiday program, The ACT Foundation South Africa for feeding the children, ClemenGold for the fruit donation, Cynthia Lewis of Fourways Main Reef Rotary Club for helping to source prizes & equipment, Rita of Roots & Shoots, the Shumbashaba staff and the many volunteers for their time and contributions.

Without the GENEROUS donations and time of the people above, Shumbashaba could not have offered the children a meaningful, fun and rewarding three days. 




Apprentice Denis Schwarz will be jetting off to Kazan, Russia at the end of August to contest the 6th race of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) to be held at the Kazan Racecourse on Thursday 30 August.

Kazan is a 1,012 year old city and is considered to be the “third capital” of Russia after Moscow and St Petersburg. Kazan has the biggest racecourse in Russia, and this leg of the HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Apprentice World Championship (IFAHR) promises to be very special as it will be held on National Day for Kazan!

Denis is very excited to be representing South Africa and said “I am really grateful and excited for this amazing opportunity that the Academy has given me! I’m looking forward to my first race outside of South Africa and will represent the Academy and the country to the best of my ability!”

Denis is in excellent form, having bounced back from a brief quiet spell, with a slew of winners in the past few weeks, including a recent treble at Turffontein and double at Flamingo Park. 



Saint-Imier (Switzerland), 24 July 2018 – The Magnier family and trainer Aidan O’Brien, the driving forces behind Coolmore and the Ballydoyle Racing Stable, have been selected as the recipients of the 2018 Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit, which recognizes distinguished horsemen and horsewomen for lifelong contributions to Thoroughbred racing.

They will be honoured on Tuesday 14th August in Dublin at an event to coincide with the launch of the 2018 Longines Irish Champions Weekend, which will take place at Leopardstown Racecourse on Saturday 15th September and the Curragh Racecourse on Sunday 16th September. Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing; Louis Romanet, Chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA); and Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, will take part in the ceremony. As the Official Partner and Official Watch of the IFHA, Swiss watchmaker Longines and the IFHA jointly created the Award of Merit in 2013 to honour public figures for their outstanding contribution to the world of horseracing. Representing the Magnier family, MV Magnier, said, “We are most grateful to Longines and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities for this recognition, and while the award may have the Magnier name on it we know that we are part of a much larger family which includes our partners, the Smiths and the Tabors, along with all the O’Briens at Ballydoyle. A big thanks to all.” Aidan O’Brien said, “Our thanks to the Magnier family, the Smiths and the Tabors for helping to make Ballydoyle what it is today. We are privileged to be associated with such wonderful people who leave no stone unturned as we try to get the best out of every horse.

“We really appreciate the tremendous and unfailing support of all the team at Ballydoyle, whose commitment is second to none, I would like to thank them all.”

Kavanagh, also a vice-chairman of the IFHA, said, “It is a source of great pride that those we honour today hail from Ireland, yet are recognized the world over. With its origins in County Tipperary, the Magnier family has built an unrivalled global operation that has been responsible for so many of the greatest equine stars the world has seen. In Aidan O’Brien, the Coolmore partners have the best trainer in the world, indeed a world record holder after his exploits last year. Their successes do so much to promote Ireland as a global leader when it comes to breeding and racing, and I wish the Magnier family and Aidan, Annemarie and their family every success for the future.” Coolmore is a name synonymous with global success at the highest level, both as a breeding and racing entity. The world-renowned operation came together when John Magnier joined forces with Ballydoyle trainer Vincent O’Brien and business magnate Robert Sangster in the 1970s. The partnership’s first major winner was The Minstrel in the 1977 Epsom Derby, and its first major homebred was Sadler’s Wells. A top-class racehorse, upon his retirement Sadler’s Wells rewrote the stud books by becoming the 14-time leading sire in Great Britain and Ireland. Magnier is married to Vincent O’Brien’s daughter Susan, and they have five children—Tom, Kate, JP, MV and Sammy Jo. He acquired both Ballydoyle and Coolmore after O’Brien’s retirement and Sangster’s death.

Aidan O’Brien (no relation to Vincent) became the trainer at Ballydoyle in 1996. That year, Coolmore’s Desert King provided him with his first Group 1 winner on the Flat in the National Stakes at the Curragh. O’Brien had taken out his trainer’s license in 1993 and got his start with National Hunt horses, most notably the legendary Istabraq, a son of Sadler’s Wells.

Another son of Sadler’s Wells, Coolmore’s Galileo, would give O’Brien his first of six Epsom Derby winners and go on to become one of the premier stallions in history. In 2016, European Horse of the Year Minding, a daughter of Galileo, gave O’Brien his 250th Group/ Grade 1 winner on the Flat when taking the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. In 2017, Highland Reel, a son of Galileo, gave O’Brien his 300th Group/Grade 1 winner (Flat and National Hunt combined) by winning the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, which was timed by Longines.

In 2017, with 28 Group/Grade 1 victories, O’Brien broke the world record for Group/Grade 1 wins in a calendar year by a trainer, besting Bobby Frankel’s mark of 25 set in 2003. He has been crowned champion Irish Flat trainer in terms of prize-money won every season since 1999 and has won Group/Grade 1 races across the globe, including in Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. The majority of O’Brien’s big-race winners have carried the colours of the Coolmore partners to victory. O’Brien and his wife, Annemarie, have four children—Joseph, Sarah, Ana and Donnacha—and all of them became jockeys. In 2012, O’Brien and Joseph became the first fatherson/ trainer-jockey pair to win the Epsom Derby with Coolmore’s Camelot. In 2018, Joseph, now a trainer, defeated his father in the Irish Derby with Latrobe. Brother Donnacha was in the irons. Previous winners of the Longines and IFHA International Award of Merit include Yutaka Take, the Romanet family, Jim Bolger, Alec Head, Seth Hancock, and the late Marcel Zarour Atanacio.



Effective from 01 August 2018, horse names will be processed via the Name Reservation Section of the NHA website. Kindly note this name will be subject to further checks and has not yet been accepted for use by Stud Book.

**Please allow approximately 7 business days from receipt of your application for the Chief Executive to process it.

A preliminary check to see the availability of a name can be done using the horse name search tool located within the Stud Book, Name Register - of the NHA website.

**Please note this is an enquiry system only and no guarantee is made as to the availability of a name.


• The maximum length of a name is 18 characters, including spaces and apostrophes.

• Punctuation marks other than apostrophes are not accepted.

• Names may be rejected if they are difficult to pronounce or read.

• Names, where the meaning or origin cannot be satisfactorily substantiated, will not be accepted.

• Any name, the use of which would be contrary to law, will not be accepted.

• The Chief Executive reserves the right to reduce, extend or add a naming restriction at any time.

• Names can only be reserved for 2 years and the name of mare and year of foaling needs to be provided.

• For ease of pronunciation and to avoid confusion the Chief Executive encourages the use of spaces

between words.


Concerning names registered and not protected, the following criteria are provided as a guideline during which registered names will not be reused:

1. In the case of stallions, 15 years after death or 15 years after the last recorded year in which they covered mares (whichever is the sooner) or at 35 years of age if no death is reported.

2. In the case of broodmares, 10 years after their death or being put of stud 10 years after the last recorded year in which they were covered or produced a foal, or at 25 years of age if no death is reported.

3. In the case of all other horses (colts and filly’s), 5 years after their death, or at 20 years of age if no death is reported. An exception may be made where the name of a horse which has been reported as dead and has not raced is sought for re-use by the same applicant. These considerations apply to words written in English or any other language.


The Chief Executive may refuse to register a name, or cancel the registered name:

• Names in bad taste or which have an unacceptable connotation in another language;

• Of a horse where the name, either on its own or in the context of the sire and/or dam’s name: is suggestive, scandalous or has a vulgar or obscene meaning; is considered to be in poor taste;

• Which may be offensive to, or appear to harass, humiliate or disparage, a specific;

• Which refers to an individual or a religious, political, ethnic or other group;

• Which is prejudicial to the image or interests of racing;

• Which has the potential to create controversy under current social standards;

• Which rhymes with, or the pronunciation is similar to, other names or words which are unacceptable;

• Which is a synonym for other names or words which are unacceptable;

• That may cause conflict with wagering or racing terms and/or that have the potential to cause confusion for racing administration, and racegoers will not be accepted. This includes features of a racecourse, such as FINISHING POST, wagering terms, such as TRIFECTA, Names of races, such as DURBAN JULY;

• Containing multiple words run together if it is difficult to decipher;

• Which has a commercial, artistic or creative significance including but not limited to the names of well-known organisations, companies and brands;

• Which is a registered charity, company or business name; or

• Which is, or contains, a registered or common law trademark, or is the subject of a pending application to register a trademark.



The National Horseracing Authority would like to wish all our Stakeholders born in August a very Happy Birthday.

Wishing you a birthday filled with sweet moments and wonderful memories to cherish always!