Entertainment galore at Dundee July despite cancelled race

2015-07-27 09:18
MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha joins models on stage during the fashion show at the Dundee July.

MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha joins models on stage during the fashion show at the Dundee July. (supplied)

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THE weekend rains could not dampen people’s spirits or the events surrounding this year’s rural Dundee July, even though the main attraction — horse racing — had to be cancelled.

Members of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) said the racing was cancelled on Saturday morning because of heavy overnight rains.

The Dundee July Rural Horse Riding Race has become popular over the years.

This year’s race was the 11th in succession. The event takes place annually a few weeks after the Durban July horse racing event and is accompanied by similar fanfare, including fashion and music.

This year’s event started on Friday with a parade through Dundee town centre.

Female jockeys were expected to take part in the race for the first time, and organisers said this would be part of the event going forward.

“There was a lot of rain. It fell until 7 am in the morning. We met with horse-racing organisations and decide to cancel the race. We were concerned about the safety of the jockeys and the horses,” said Sandile Mbonane, a member of the LOC.

“We will meet in a few days to discuss if the race itself should be held this year or be postponed until next year,” he said.

Mbonane said despite the race setback, people still enjoyed the other events and over 14 000 people attended.

“All the other activities that had been organised continued. We had the main stage where all the local artists performed, and there also private marquees that are sponsored by individuals,” he said.
Mbonane said security had been increased at this year’s event.

“We had over 500 personnel including members of the SAPS at the site. There were no serious incidents. There were minor incidents of people drinking where they were not supposed to be drinking …”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  fashion

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