The NHA’s reason for being

The entire purpose of the National Horseracing Authority (the NHA) is “To regulate, govern, serve and promote the sport of horseracing in Southern Africa”. The industry has several sectors which all have their own applicable rules within our rule book, as well as dedicated service departments within our organisation. It is our primary duty to maintain the highest levels of integrity possible, both in the racing industry and in our own institution.

The word integrity is often used to describe what work the NHA performs, but it cannot be merely a description, we at the NHA have to practise what we preach and this is how we will be judged. Integrity is defined on a number of levels, however is best summarised in my opinion by – doing the right thing when no one is watching.

 The NHA, being the regulator of the industry will never be everyone’s cup of tea due to decisions that have to be made that will not suit every individual. In this era of social media that presents the opportunity to malign anyone that differs with an opinion and even under a pseudonym if desired, this makes it even more important to have the appropriate people employed at the coal face. Decisions have to be made for the right reasons using the Rules of Racing, not to be popular or to please influential people. The Rules are not guidelines, they are in place to ensure consistency, confidence and safety and welfare standards. The Rules need to be applied without fear or favour, but fairly and consistently, this is the best marketing strategy that the regulator can adopt. The industry needs to attract new blood into our great sport, new customers if you like.

 We will never attract a new audience if there are question marks against the right to compete on a level playing field. Whether a person is a business magnate or a man in the street they should be treated with the same respect and compassion with the Rules of Racing being the equaliser.

 With confidence in the way that the sport of horseracing is regulated, national interest and international confidence will follow, this is what the NHA and its staff aspire to. We have the right people in our ranks, we need to empower these people who walk the walk and talk the talk every day, while performing their duties at the coal face. These people are our adverts, these are the people whose hands we place the future of our sport in. We need to allow these fine people the opportunity to perform their jobs and improve in whatever area we need to improve in.

 After all we must always endeavour to improve, you are only as good as your last decision.



 The National Horseracing Authority

would like to wish all our Stakeholders born in October a very Happy Birthday.

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





Cannabis products not to be used in horseracing


Prohibited substances in horses rule 73.4.2:

Natural or herbal substances or remedies and/or drugs which have antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties;

Banned substances in riders rule 77.2.2:

Cannabinoids – a concentration in urine of 11-nor-delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol-9-carboxylic acid (carboxy-THC) greater than 50 nanograms per mililiter.

It is cautioned that any preparation produced from any Cannabis plants contain tetrahydrocannabinoids (THC) which could result in a positive finding in riders and horses against these rules.



The NHA would like to congratulate Dr Roehann Sutherland and Mr Lennon Maharaj on their new appointments.

Dr Roehann Sutherland has been promoted to NHA Senior Veterinary Surgeon. Dr Sutherland commences his duties in Johannesburg on 1 November 2018.

Mr Lennon Maharaj has been promoted to NHA Senior Handicapper with effect 1 September.

The NHA wishes them both good luck in their new roles.




Congratulations to Mrs Princess Gubudela on receiving her 35 YEARS LONG SERVICE AWARD. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication to the NHA during this time.

The Western Cape staff would like to congratulation Mr Fred Bosman for winning the Cape Town Employee of the Year. Thank you for all our hard work over the past year.


Hi to all – from the Veterinary Department. My name is Juan Batt, I started on the 1st August here at Kenilworth as the new NHA Veterinarian in the Western Cape.

My experience with the NHA started in 2010 where I, as a vet from the private sector, worked for the NHA at Fairview and Arlington race courses on race days as the course veterinarian. Now that I am physically part of the NHA, I can say that I have experienced both sides and enjoy my job thoroughly. Referring to my job description, I am mostly looking forward to the involvement of our athletes’ (horses) welfare.

Furthermore, working alongside the trainers, I would like to improve the management of their horses by decreasing the unnecessary use of antimicrobials, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroidal drugs, etc. as well as what happens after the horses retire.

With the supportive help I got thus far from various colleagues in the NHA, I found it easy to find my feet and feel at home. I hope to meet you all in due course.





The 56-year-old Smith was born and bred in Johannesburg, growing up in the Mondeor area. His grandparents were small-scale racehorse owners and breeders, which provided his first contact with a horsey environment. “My grandmother Lorna used to take me to the stables of her brother-in-law Ernie Williams on a Sunday. Of course, in those days no under 18s were allowed on the racecourse, so you couldn’t go to the racing itself. “My father used to play an odd jackpot and PA, but my parents weren’t involved in racing as such”, says Smith.

Smith’s entry into a life of racing administration came in 1985. “I was taken on as Assistant Handicapper to Jeff Moffett at Gosforth Park, who was my early mentor. He was a very good influence – very accurate and meticulous.

“In those days things were very different. Each racing club had its own handicapper, so there was one at Turffontein, Newmarket and Gosforth Park, all working independently of one another. We used the race figure system, which meant a more or less fixed six-point penalty for each win. “And there were no computers used; everything was done with handwritten cards. You would fill in the form line manually after each run, and then the next time the horse accepted you would have to find the card and work out the weight to be carried. I much prefer the way we do it now,” he adds with a laugh.

He also performed many other roles along the way.

“I was clerk of scales sometimes and was also involved in marketing and promotions. In more recent times I have also done duty as a judge on occasion when needed.” “In 1988 I took up the position of Handicapper at Newmarket, but a year later Gauteng racing was rationalised into one body under the banner of the Highveld Racing Authority. I worked in handicapping and managed racing services, doing things like weights and acceptances. “Then in September 1999 I moved to Turffontein and the NHRA, soon after the Merit Rating system was implemented, and have been here for exactly 19 years.

Roger has worked with quite a few handicappers along the way. “The late Colin Buckham gave me valuable advice and was very knowledgeable and experienced. I also worked with Mike Wanklin for a long period, and he is now working with us again as a consultant from overseas.

“Internationally I have found Nigel Gray from Hong Kong to be a good sounding board. He has always been very helpful when asked for input.” Roger has seen many changes in his over three decades in racing, not all of it good.

“I still enjoy the competition and racing, but a lot of the on-course vibe has disappeared in modern times due to the drop in attendance. In days gone by there was much more mainstream interest in our sport.” Many a great horse has come and gone in Roger’s time, but he singled out a few.“Golden Loom was a special horse and a favourite of mine – he won with huge weights. “Others that spring to mind are Horse Chestnut, Jungle Rock, the filly Roland’s Song, and more recently Variety Club – he was truly brilliant, and his Grade 1 win in Hong Kong where he thrashed Able Friend was quite sensational.”

An exciting potential new development in our handicapping is a proposal put forward by Smith, Mathew Lips and Mike Wanklin to the NHRA graded races committee to remove weight-for-age from the Merit Rating system and only work with nett ratings. “This would make a big difference, but nothing has been agreed as yet.”

The impetus for Roger leaving both the NHRA and South Africa came when his wife Gerlind recently secured a senior position in Jersey, one of the British Channel Islands. “They have racing in Jersey, but only about eight meetings a year. I’m keeping my future options open, but this chance to expand our horizons was impossible to turn down.” Roger and Gerlind have two adult children, who will both be based in the Netherlands, only a short trip away.

The departure of Roger Smith will leave a big gap in our handicapping ranks, and replacing this dedicated and highly committed individual is going to be no easy task.


Paul Hepworth has officially “hung up his boots” and gone on retirement after serving as the Starter in KwaZulu-Natal for the past 20 years.

Here in the KZN office we will miss his cheerful disposition but wish to thank him for his contribution to the organization and wish him everything of the very best in his retirement years although he will still be working as hard as ever as a farrier.





In November 2017 a group of Stakeholders from Fairview Racecourse engaged the Nelson Mandela University School of Language, Media and Communication to discuss a collaborative project that would be undertaken in 2018 with the students of the media department. Dr Subeshini Moodley, acting head of the department of media and communications, senior lecturer in video production and film studies together with Mr Luciano Passerini (Phumelela Regional Manager) and Karin le Roux (Fairview Racecourse Promotions Manager) formalised a strategy to create a docu-narrative set at Fairview Racecourse with special emphasis on what happens behind the scenes in the run up to racing.

The idea was to engage students in our community and effectively view the racecourse through the eyes of a younger generation whilst opening opportunities for their work experience to be showcased locally and alongside the international television broadcasting of horseracing on the DSTV Tellytrack channel.

The brief given to the students was to focus on ‘a day in the life of a thoroughbred race horse’ which could be interpreted as they experienced the interaction on course. The idea was to give the viewer insight into the work and effort that goes into caring and training these magnificent animals. This involved getting up really early, catching the sunrise and following horses around until they had captured the perfect shot.


The process was supervised by a National Horseracing Authority representative, Ms Julia Keevy, a Stipendiary Steward for the Eastern Cape who introduced the students to the horses and ensured that they could move around safely and that people on course could get to know the crews involved with the project. Trainers and grooms on course were especially co-operative and allowed the students a sneak peek into the daily routines of their yards and the way in which they interact with their horses, which very few people are privileged to witness as the centre is a secure area ensuring the safety of all horses and people on course.

The filming started in April 2018 after the group of students had visited Fairview Racecourse in Greenbushes on a race day earlier in the year, as most had never been to a horse racing event this was particularly exciting witnessing a field of Thoroughbreds charging down the turf track for the first time.

The outcome of the project culminated in the films being shown at the Racing Association Awards evening on the 1st September 2018 at Fairview Racecourse. The video productions submitted from the students all round were top class and the panel were most impressed by the quality produced by 3rd year and honours students of the Nelson Mandela University.

The top group ‘Sugarbird Productions’ consisting of students Melandri Koekamoer, Maryka Momberg, Vuyolwethu Mpongwana, Similile Qinel and Brendan Smit were awarded first prize which featured the gracious grey horse “Stormy Eclipse”, winner of the listed Memorial Mile race and trained by Ms Tara Laing. The prizes were contributed by Racing. It’s A Rush, Fairview Racecourse, The Racing Association and the National Horseracing Authority, which without their support, co-operation and enthusiasm to promote horse racing in the Eastern Cape this project would not have been possible.

Furthermore, an internship at the Tellytrack studio was awarded to the top two students of the Department, Maryka Momberg and Ziyanda Bam who will spend a week at the Johannesburg studios in Rivonia experiencing the production and co-ordination of live broadcasting and televised feeds of horseracing. The success of the project and the superb work done by the students of the Nelson Mandela University is testament to the talent residing in Port Elizabeth.



I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, I am Notemba Binase. I have been appointed as the Receptionist and Inquiry Reporter at The National Horseracing Authority, Eastern Cape.

I have completed a National Diploma in Management in 2012. Previously I worked as an intern at Coega Development Corporation in the Finance Department and I also worked at Woolworths as a Store Administrator in Finance and HR.

I spend my free time with my kids (Unako & Litemba), reading and running and I enjoy spending time with my family.

I have the ability to work independently and as a team member as well as the ability to produce effective solutions to new and existing problems, using creative and innovative approaches.

I look forward to the journey ahead and learning more about The National Horseracing Authority. 




What would a Year-End Party be like without some Christmas cheer? Please help Shumbashaba end off the year on a positive and happy note for the children and youth from Diepsloot who have attended their 2018 Saturday Development Program. There is a total of 540 children registered on their Saturday Development program and they expect around 300 children to attend the Christmas Party.



(Program objectives):

• Safe place for children and youth to be off the streets of Diepsloot

• Early intervention & prevention of substance abuse and crime

• Teach children positive life skills

• Stop hunger

• Care for people, animals and environment

• Early intervention promoting physical, emotional and spiritual well-being



• 540 Vulnerable children and youth-at-risk have registered for this program

• Every Saturday during the school term Shumbashaba experience a regular attendance of between 250 -300 children

• During the winter holiday program we had 400 children attend



• Sports: soccer, cricket, netball, equestrian vaulting for a healthy body and mind.

• Cultural & arts: lego, poetry, reading, drama that enhances a child’s experience of their world

• Environmental awareness: we have partnered with Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Progam in an effort to foster a respect for all life

• Awareness talks from SANCA, SADAG, etc.

• Horse Appreciation: an interaction with horses that not only acts as an entry point into the world of the Animal Kingdom but also builds self-esteem and self-awareness

• Equine Assisted Life Skills: a program run with the children and their families that promotes psychological well-being and resilience.

• Lunch: the ACT Foundation provides a nourishing well-balanced lunch to every child.



The Christmas party is all about fun and if possible, Shumbashaba would like to offer the following:

• some entertainment such as jumping castles, face painting, games with prizes

• a gift for each child, both boys and girls of different ages

• some sweets, chips and a cool drink

• a hamper of groceries to take home eg. Maize, sugar, tea, coffee, & perhaps toothpaste, soap, etc.


For any donations please contact Jacky

on 082 872 9265