In what has been a sad week for South African horseracing, and a blow for gender equality, leading lady trainer Yvette Bremner announced on Friday that she is in the process of vacating her Fairview yard after 18 years and will not be training horses in the Eastern Cape in the future.
While some of her horses injured in the violent Grooms protest on Thursday are unable to be moved, Barn 1 and Barn 2 at the popular trainer’s yard are now empty.
Armed guards and an SAPS presence were visible overnight as all the Dippin’ Blu / Bremner runners were scratched from the local racemeeting that surprisingly went ahead on Friday
Known as a lethal raiding trainer into the major centres, earned respect in a tough game.
Veteran Mike Bass once paid a professional tribute, labelling Ms Bremner a ‘lady with steel balls’ after her stunning Gr1 Computaform Sprint success, while multiple SA champion Mike de Kock was highly complimentary after her star National Park lowered the colours of champion Hawwaam at Turffontein.
The Vryburg born one-time ballet dancer, who had ambitions of becoming a jockey, found her path in life inexorably mapped out when, at the age of 11 the family moved to Knysna, just down the N2 from PE.
Her first job in racing was in exalted company – she did eight years with the late legend, Stanley Greeff, before spending the next eight split between the services of Dumas Coetzee and Paul Lafferty.
Mr Greeff gave her the nickname ‘Blue Eyes’, as he could not remember her name. It stuck, and 2002 Dippin’ Blu Stables saw the light of day.
The abrupt end to her career in PE amidst a climate of unrest and intimidation is a sad indictment on the ills afflicting this country 26 years into democracy.
Her emotional leading owner Hedley McGrath asked: “When exactly is enough is enough and where does one draw that line in the sand? Maybe that was Thursday 17 September 2020. It’s an emotional time for all of us and I thank all my co-owners who have stood by us. We will talk soon.”
The Fairview violence went worldwide on mainstream media yesterday and the fallout for the sport cannot be calculated in a rands and cents.
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