In terms of Chapter 4 of the Constitution of The National Horseracing Authority the Nominations Committee, consisting of past Chairmen Adv. Altus Joubert, Mr Andrew O’Connor, Mr Larry Nestadt and Mr Jonathan Witts-Hewinson has appointed Mr David Rosevear to fill the vacancy on the National Board in terms of clause 15.1.1, read with, of the Constitution effective from 5 June 2020.

The current pandemic has turned our world upside down.  SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a “novel” virus, which means that it is new and nobody on the planet has been exposed to it before.  This also means that nobody has immunity to it.

Only one of two scenarios will end this nightmare: a reliable vaccine, or achieving a “herd immunity” of about 70% of the population.

Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection from infectious disease that occurs when a large percentage of a population has become immune to an infection, whether through vaccination or previous infections, thereby providing a measure of protection for individuals who are not immune.

The National Horseracing Authority (NHA) confirms that in line with its commitment to ensuring the safety of all the participants, it has established extensive Covid-19 Protocols and Procedures, for the Resumption of Racing behind closed doors.

This document has been carefully considered using international best practice, in addition to considering our own requirements according to Government Protocols.

The NHA has appointed Mr Arnold Hyde, Racing Control Executive, as the Chief National Covid-19 Compliance Officer, to facilitate that these Protocols and Procedures are strictly adhered to, ensuring that Racing is conducted behind closed doors in a responsible and safe environment for all Stakeholders. All enforcement officers report directly to the Chief National Covid-19 Compliance Officer.

Following the latest guidelines for animal movements issued by the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), (formerly known as Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)), previous restrictions on the movement of animals based on Covid-19 regulations have been lifted.

It is further understood that the Directors of the Provincial Veterinary Services have delegated authority to decide which regulatory services they can provide in line with the Covid-19 regulations that apply in their respective province.

The National Horseracing Authority confirms that following today’s confirmation that Horseracing in South Africa will resume on 1 June 2020, it has drawn up a COVID-19 Protocols document for racing behind closed doors.

In line with international best practice, this demonstrates how seriously The NHA considers the health and safety of all of the stakeholders and role players involved in our industry.

The NHA is pleased to announce that Horseracing in South Africa will resume on 1 June 2020 behind closed doors. The  NHA have informed the Racing Operators accordingly on the requirements that needs to be complied with in order to stage these meetings.

The following rules shall be applicable on the effective start date.

  • The field sizes will be restricted to 12 runners per race with the exception of ALL Pattern races in which 14 runners will be allowed.
  • Jockeys will be restricted to ride in the region of their choice and cannot move in between provinces.  They will be allowed to make ONE move prior to the commencement of racing.
  •  The adjusted minimum riding weight in Handicap races shall remain at 54kg.
  • Horses moving between regions shall NOT be allowed unless a horse is moving to another province on a permanent basis as per the regulations of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • All Horse Transport Companies must have the necessary Permits to move horses between the training centres and race courses.
  • The last race must be run not later than 16h45.
  • Any persons with comorbidities shall not be able to attend.

Racing at Flamingo Park shall NOT take place in the month of June. The Racing Operators shall advise on the status of Kimberley racing in due course. 

Salient Points

  • 60 000 direct and indirect jobs to be lost if the horse racing industry continues in hard lockdown (at least 750 000 beneficiaries facing poverty)
  • About 400 of horses per month face the prospects of being euthanised if racing suspension persists
  • The National Command Council permission sought for eight (8) closed races per day totaling under 15 minutes to save the industry
  • Industry has an economic impact of about R2.9 billion per year with huge foreign earnings from horse exports and global television income

Passing of Mr Zenzile (Jackson) Feni

The National Horseracing Authority is saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Mr Zenzile (Jackson) Feni.  He showed symptoms of hypertension after taking ill yesterday morning.

Mr Feni was a long-time employee in the horseracing industry, working as a Groom, NHA Handler and enjoyed considerable success as a licensed Workrider.  He lived in Vosloorus at the time of his passing

The National Horseracing Authority extends its heartfelt condolences to his family during this time.

The National Horseracing Authority (NHA) have just received feedback on the submissions that were made to the Department of Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI),as the Horseracing Industry covers multiple sectors,to ensure the ongoing viability of the horseracing and breeding industry.

Our submissions thus far demonstrate our commitment and alignment to Government’s interventions in an attempt to preserve lives,flatten the curve,protect jobs and also stimulate the racing economy.Subsequently,our submissions were forwarded to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and thereafter the National Coronavirus Command Council (Command Council).