Young jockeys race to success

2016-03-09 06:00
TIGHT FINISH: Thabiso Nyakane (left) from Mashaeng near Fouriesburg and Lesego Foromane (15) from Kuruman, heading to the finish line. Photo: Tladi Moloi

TIGHT FINISH: Thabiso Nyakane (left) from Mashaeng near Fouriesburg and Lesego Foromane (15) from Kuruman, heading to the finish line. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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QWAQWA. – It was a tight contest between the two young favourite jockeys, Thabiso Nyakane (20) from Mashaeng near Fouriesburg, and Lesego Foromane (15) from Kuruman.

They took part in the Maluti-a-Phofung Horse-racing Festival at the Prefect Farm, 20 km outside Phuthaditjhaba on the road to Kestell. The event attracted people from Qwaqwa and the surrounding areas such as Harrismith, Kestell, Bethlehem and Fouriesburg, and took place on Saturday (05/03).

Nyakane, who won the hearts of many people including that of the executive mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung, Vusi Tshabalala, never disappointed. He claimed the first race in the 1 000 m, beating Foromane who ended second. Nyakane won R13 500 for his horse and R1 500 as pocket money.

Foromane, who looked worried after the defeat, never gave up. He went for the second round in the longer race with Nyakane looking for his second victory.

However, it was Foromane who won R19 000 for his hard work.

Nyakane said he was happy to win. He added that it had not come as a surprise as he knew that he was going to win.

“I was born a jockey. I have been training on this farm for a long time, so I know what is needed to win. However, I can’t deny the fact that the competition was tight as Foromane’s horse kept coming after me,” he said.

He said he would like to thank his manager, the horse owner Jonas Mokoena, who hails from Phuthaditjhaba. “He played a pivotal role in making me a better jockey and he always makes sure that the horse, Laurent Kabila, is always fit and ready for the race,” he said.

The racing event was attended by horse-racing clubs from KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and the Northern Cape.

Foromane said he was disappointed to lose the first race. “I used the second race to rectify my mistakes. I could not deal with the pace in the first round when we were heading to the finish line. I am happy because I would not go home empty handed. I want to thank my trainers for driving me here to take part in the race.”

Tshabalala said they were happy to host the race and that the municipality was going to promote the show and make it an annual event. He said they had injected R25 000 in the race.

“We were approached by the community of the farm for assistance. We have requested the organisers to use that money to pay the winners as motivation,” he said.

Petrus Ntombela, the chairperson of the Qwaqwa Horse-racing Club, said he was happy that they had hosted a successful event. “People came in numbers and that shows how people have been waiting for such an opportunity. We want to thank everyone who supported the event and credit should be given to the jockeys because we would not have done it without them,” he said.

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