the voice of the South African punter

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 09:35

Still in our thoughts after 29 years



The Hennenman Air disaster which occurred on April 12 1988, will have its annual memorial meeting on Saturday April 15 at Turffontein Racecourse.

Every year the memorial meeting is held for racing folk and the bereaved families to gather and remember the 24 lives that were cut short when a Dakota carrying 13 jockeys together with a trainer, racing officials and owners crashed into a field in the early evening near Hennenman. Skidding for 200m and exploding in a mass of flame. Nobody survived. The racing fraternity battled to absorb the tragedy the following morning and an air of disbelief hung around race meetings for a number months.


Many of those killed were jockeys under the age of 22 so a mass of riding talent was lost!


Full list of people who lost their lives


Jockeys: Keith Basel, Lawrence Riley, Johannes “Rooies” Fourie, Warren Baillie, Bennie de Wet, Greg Holme, Douglas Roper, Danny Lombard, John McMurtry, Mark Nel, Michael Coetzee, Simon Rahilly and Gordon Sterley.


Trainer: Hennie van Wyk


Officials: Graham Kent, Dave Bullock, Henry Havergall, Ginger Masterton and Johannes van der Linden


Owners: Jacobus Viljoen and Neville Blignaut


Air Crew: Jacob Kalt, Harold Whitehead and Jacqueline Henderson.


The United Airways charter flight had been returning from a race meeting in Bloemfontein. The meeting was due to have been held the previous week with the racing group booked to travel on a scheduled South African Airways flight. However, when rain forced the postponement of the meeting, a plane was especially chartered to transport jockeys and officials to and from Bloemfontein.

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