Dundee’s horse racing festival attracts overseas interest

2010-07-20 00:00

THE sleepy coal-mining town of Dundee is to host its sixth annual July horse racing festival in grand style.

The northern KwaZulu-Natal event, which is traditionally held on the last Saturday of July, will be held on Saturday, seven days before the famous Durban July Handicap race.

According to the event’s programme manager, Mike Mthembu, the race, which began as a provincial event in 2005, is steadily becoming a national and international tournament, attracting participants from the Free State and North West, as well as neighbouring countries such as Botswana and Lesotho.

“It has also attracted the interest of other countries such as Sweden, France and Australia.

“Bilateral [agreements] with these countries regarding possible funding and investment opportunities, co-operation and exchange programmes are at an advanced stage,” he said.

“The stake money has increased exponentially from the initial R15 000 to R100 000, thanks to the generosity of major sponsors Gold Circle, Orange Grove Dairies and Harnes Racing,” Mthembu said.

“The uMzinyathi District Municipality and the Ndumeni Local Municipality have contributed R250 000.”

Mthembu maintained that the ultimate objective is for the race to become a professional event with revenue generation and job creation.

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