HORSES from across KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape will be competing at the ninth annual Harry Gwala Summer Cup being held at Kilmun Horse Racing Track tomorrow, November 17.Kokstad jockeys Siphelele Nzimande and Nkosinam Lujiva appeared confident before the event and are determined to win on the day. When the Fever visited their home outside of Kokstad this week, they were busy training horses Schomane and Andazi for the competition. Schomane secured first place in the Grade One category at the Dundee July in northern KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year. Tomorrow, three horses; including Schomane, Andazi and Mfazendiya; will be competing in the Grade One category.The Harry Gwala Summer Cup was started by rural communities for entertainment purposes. The event has the support of government, who saw its value in boosting tourism and the local economy, and young jockeys have been trained through the support of government over the years. In last year’s event, a horse called Minister from the Ugu District won the first race, while Computer, from Zululand, won the main race.“The Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality is delighted because the event has positive economic spin- offs for the small and local traders who, on the day, have access to thousands of people from across the province of KwaZulu-Natal and neighbouring provinces. “The race is modelled on the most popular Dundee July race,” said Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality deputy mayor Philani Shange, who added that the positive growth of the race has attracted participants from neighbouring provinces as well as from Lesotho.“The event also affords aspiring fashion designers a platform to showcase their creations. “In an effort to instil creativity and growth, we have roped-in prominent retail sectors and promoted knowledge-sharing across businesses, which in turn fosters innovation and enhances productivity to ensure that skills are provided to our designers,” Shange said. MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Bongi Sithole-Moloi expressed excitement at the growth of rural horse-riding in KZN, saying: “We welcome the staging of the ninth edition of the Harry Gwala Summer Cup, which is one of the flagship events on the rural horse riding calendar. “This is part of our government priorities, which include availing opportunities for communities, especially the youth in rural areas, to participate in sport and recreation.” Sithole-Moloi said government is working together with the Rural Horse Riding Association to grow rural horse riding and attract more private sector investments. Harry Gwala District Mayor Mluleki Ndobe said the event is taken very seriously in the Harry Gwala District.“We are very excited to once again host this annual event in the district. “Every year, we ensure that we set aside a budget to host this magnificent event as a very special programme in our district,” said Ndobe.