DATE: Thursday 17 September 2020
RELEASED BY: Phumelela Gaming
The race meeting at Fairview this Friday afternoon, 18 September, is set to go ahead although a final decision will only be taken in the morning.
Most grooms at the training centre at the racecourse had returned to work by midday today following a protest this morning that turned violent.
The protest was initiated by grooms formerly employed by leading Port Elizabeth trainer Yvette Bremner and other grooms at the centre later joined the protest.
Several horses in Bremner’s care were let out of their stables and chased from the complex before the Public Order Police managed to remove the protesters from the training centre and restore order.
Unfortunately, one of Bremner’s charges, Mark The Doorman, died after falling and breaking his neck as a result of the grooms’ actions.
All other horses let loose were later caught and returned to their stables. Several suffered varying injuries, but a veterinary surgeon said that initial examinations indicated all are likely to recover.
Phumelela is liaising with the Department of Labour in a bid to resolve the dispute between Bremner and her former employees, which traces back to an incident several months ago when a Bremner charge was stabbed by a groom.
Phumelela has enlisted additional private security personnel to assist in protecting people and horses in the complex overnight and they will be on duty on raceday. There will also be a strong police presence from early on raceday morning.
Phumelela continues to monitor the situation and will issue an update when appropriate. It intends to do everything possible to ensure that all those responsible for the unrest are prosecuted.