March 2017


How many of us that work and have families, have ongoing communications with our
children and families? Very few of us do....

If we have frequent, ongoing, daily and responsive communication it would assist with mutual trust especially when discussing difficult issues.  It often develops “intrinsic motivation” with one or both parties. Despite this knowledge, we all seem to not communicate enough. So we need to ask ourselves the questions or reflect on:

How can we think of ways to exchange positive communication and information with family, staff, stakeholders or Boards?
How can we setup the environment to make everyone feel at ease as we build on the communication process?

To enhance our communication with each other, we must adhere to certain principles:

Human relationships and the effects of those relationships are the building blocks of effective communication especially in the early stakes of development;
Fair treatment of people results from responding to individual needs, NOT equal treatment.

This can be very controversial in an environment where equal treatment is demanded.
We are all therefore encouraged to have regular communication with each other.
It must be of such a nature that we constantly seek to understand rather than trying to get the listener to understand -“seek to understand rather than to be understood”.

It’s not easy because so much can be read into posture, tone, volume and the use of words. It can build or destroy. Let’s build with our words!!

Article by:  Lyndon Barends – NHA Managing Director

Veterinary Suspensions and Vet Reports:

Several scenarios may lead to a horse being suspended from racing for a time. Potentially a permanent or indefinite suspension may be incurred and the horse disallowed from competing.  Any horse that is scratched from a carded race for a veterinary reason will be suspended for a period of 12 days. Consideration will be given to lifting the 12 day suspension and reinstating the horse if a veterinary certificate is received prior to the race.

The horse must then be re-examined and a second certificate submitted indicating that the horse has sufficiently recovered before entering the next race. Two veterinary certificates are therefore required. Reinstating a horse that was scratched for lameness will, however, not be considered.

The veterinarian on duty will indicate if a horse is eligible for immediate re- instatement in the case of the horse bolting.  When considering the 90-Day rule, trainers must inform the Stipendiary Board or the NHA Veterinarians of the reason for a horse’s prolonged absence from racing.  Should such a horse be scratched or presented at races for a Veterinary examination and diagnosed with a lameness without prior notification having been received, the horse will be suspended from racing. Reinstating the horse is subject to a Veterinary report from your veterinarian. Such a report must indicate that the horse was examined before and after a racing gallop. Details on the required content of such a report should be discussed with the NHA Veterinarians. Recurrent lameness may indicate an underlying problem of a more serious nature in racehorses. A horse that is diagnosed with lameness on 3 consecutive occasions will be suspended indefinitely.

Reinstating such a horse is subject to a full veterinary report from your veterinarian and an official gallop. Once your veterinarian indicates that the horse has been treated and is sufficiently recovered, arrangements can be made to present the horse to a veterinarian of the NHA for an official gallop on a race day. Keep in mind that a specimen will be collected from such a horse in the same secure environment as race day specimens and any horse being presented for the lifting of suspensions must be free of prohibited substances. Recently the period of suspension for epistaxis (nose bleeding) was reduced to 60 days after the first episode.

A second episode within one year of the first remains subject to a 180 day suspension. Should the second episode be more than one year later, a suspension of 60 days will be considered. A horse that is diagnosed with epistaxis a third time in its career will no longer be allowed to race and will be permanently suspended. The health and well-being of the horse is at heart when dealing with suspensions. Therefore, Veterinary certificates must be based on a horse being examined at a trot before and after work.  Any relevant additional clinical information such as laboratory or radiographic reports should accompany the veterinary report.

The issuing and lifting of veterinary suspensions in racing is at the sole discretion of the NHA veterinarians. Direct and clear communication between trainers and the NHA is essential to ensuring that the best interest of the horse is catered for when dealing with potential risks and problem cases.

Article by:  Dr Schalk de Kock - NHA Laboratory

From Apprentice Jockey to Fitness Instructor
Simphiwe Ngcobo joined the South African Jockey Academy as an apprentice jockey in January 2014 and quickly fell in love with the sport of horseracing! Simphiwe progressed steadily through his apprenticeship, but in the third year of his apprenticeship, after a series of nasty falls, it was discovered that he suffered from a bone condition that put an end to his ambitions of becoming a champion jockey! However, Simphiwe is a resilient young man and didn’t let such a setback slow him down at all! Having enjoyed working with the Academy’s Biokineticist and Sport Scientist while training as an apprentice jockey, Simphiwe then reassessed his career options and decided to embark on a career in the fitness and sports industry. With a kind and generous bursary from Pioneer Debt Solutions, through their CSI programme, he enrolled in a one year Personal Training course offered by Physical IQ.

Simphiwe then used his love for horseracing and experience as an apprentice jockey to his advantage and used the Academy as the host employer for all his experiential learning and practical studies by assisting and shadowing the Academy Biokineticist and Sport Scientist as they worked with the apprentices at the Academy.
Simphiwe now assists daily with the fitness regime of the apprentice jockeys and is preparing to write his final exams in June. The future is bright for this ambitious young man who is sure to set the fitness industry alight with his focus and determination!

1ST Year Apprentice - Jockey Profiles

Kabelo Matsunyane is an 18 year old 1st year Apprentice at the South African Jockey Academy, who hails from Lakeside, Vereeniging in Gauteng. Kabelo matriculated from Khutlo Tharo Secondary School in 2016. He has a small but close family that includes his Mom, Dad, big sister and little brother. Kabelo loves Soccer and is an avid Orlando Pirates fan who plays as an attacking midfielder. Kabelo was attracted to the sport of horseracing as he found it very interesting and unique! His favourite jockey is Pierre Strydom, who he feels is both a very successful jockey and good role model for aspiring apprentice jockeys.
Nathan Klink is a 19 year old 1st year Apprentice at the South African Jockey Academy who comes from Macassar, Firgrove near Somerset West in the Western Cape. In 2016 Nathan was studying to become a boilermaker at the Northlink FET College in Bellville, when he decided to apply to become an apprentice jockey as he found horseracing very interesting and thought he was up for a new career challenge! Nathan comes from a very small family and is an only child, but has a very big extended family. In terms of sport, Nathan loves playing touch rugby and enjoys its fast paced action. His favourite jockey is Anthony Delpech, who he admires for his unique riding style and success, which he hopes to emulate in future.

nha Laboratory corner

What is a ppb? It refers to one part per billion (one part of a billion parts).  For the punctual of us ... it is 1 second in 32 years.  For the dedicated writers ... 1 drop of ink in a volume of the largest petrol tanker you have ever seen.

For the hungry ones...1 pinch of salt in 10 tons of chips.  For those who likes traffic.... one matchbox sized car in a 50 000 km queue of matchbox cars. Why are we discussing this? Well, the Laboratory needs to be able to detect some forbidden substance molecules at levels 200 times less than 1 part per billion in urine and blood specimens.  It does sort of explain the complex methodology, all the training and development required and the expensive instrumentation and equipment in the NHA Laboratory. 


The National Horseracing Authority would like to congratulate MIKE DE KOCK on
reaching the milestone of his 3 000th win in the Grade 2 race, the Betting World Gauteng Guineas on 3 March 2017 at Turffontein.

The National Horseracing Authority would like to congratulate GAVIN LERENA
on reaching the milestone of his 1 500th career win on BRAZUCA in Race 2, at Turffontein Racecourse in February.