IT was a proud day for Kokstad horse Mfaziwendiya and jockey Siphelele Nzimande when they scooped the 2018 Harry Gwala Summer Cup at Kilmun Horse Racing Track last Saturday. Nzimande walked away with a trophy and R9 100 in prize money.Another Kokstad horse, Schomane, came second, followed by Zululand district horse Violin. Unfortunately it was a no-show from Ugu district horse Minister, who won last year’s main race, even though many people anticipated his comeback.The opening race was won by Zululand District horse Isivunguvungu, followed by Shenge and Helicopter from Uthukela District.In the second race, Jivaza from the Uthukela District came first, followed by Magic from Uthukela and Menemene from the Amajuba District.The Zululand District shone once again, with Umsuthu taking first place in the third race.Of the horses who ran in the Grade Two category, Qalizinto from Harry Gwala District came first, followed by Maria from Zululand District and Silambanezigwili from Harry Gwala District, who came in third place. The popular horse racing event was initiated many years ago by rural communities and government supported it with infrastructure upgrades like a new race track, fenced holding kraals, a permanent ablution block, and water supply.The event has attracted a number of participants from the Eastern Cape and Lesotho. MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation from KwaZulu-Natal Bongi Sithole-Moloi said the event is part of the department’s priority to benefit rural communities.“Government in collaboration with other stakeholders will continue to support the event and provide necessary skills. We are working with the Rural Horse Riding Association to grow the event.”According to Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma Municipality deputy mayor Philani Shange, the event is growing each year. “Last year, we had six races, this year we added two more races and we want to add more races next year. “The municipality has identified 10 households in the village that can promote rural tourism.”“In preparation for next year’s event, we will be training female jockeys,” said Harry Gwala District deputy mayor, Ntuseng Duma.Next year will be the 10-year anniversary of the event.