Dundee July organisers aim to involve global riders

2018-07-23 15:45
Fashion designer David Ngobeni and Philiswa Dlamini, both from Qwaqwa, show off Ngobeni’s designs under the Dafvhonj brand.

Fashion designer David Ngobeni and Philiswa Dlamini, both from Qwaqwa, show off Ngobeni’s designs under the Dafvhonj brand. (Alwyn Viljoen)

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A fantastic day of rural horse racing at the Dundee July on Saturday saw horses from KZN, Lesotho and Mpumalanga line up for the eighth and final race with a total stake of R250 000.

The horse Schomane from Harry Gwala district took first place, followed by Nxakanxaka from Amajuba district in second place, then came Sgwebo from uThukela district, Summertime from Lesotho and Indidane from Amajuba.

On the bleachers — and in the lone tree overlooking the race — the punters who took private flutter on the outcome were ecstatic or glum, pending the outcome of their bet.

In the Gold Circle Horse Racing tent, however, all the riders were smiling. Mpume Jona said this was because each participant was rewarded for racing, with the horse owner pocketing 70% and the jockey 30%. The winning owner also took 90% of the prize money, with the jockey getting 10%.

The Dundee July was conceived in 2005 to support rural riders and has seen year-on-year growth since.

Over 320 horse owners and 200 jockeys competed in the event, with free taxis ferrying some 20 000 punters from the park and ride venue to the race course, where high fences and many security guards ensured order among the revellers.

Stomping on empty beer cans, Sandisiwe Ntombeni said she enjoyed the race day, for she collected many bags full of flattened aluminium cans, which she sold to recyclers for about R2 a can.

On the other side of the social spectrum, fashion designer David Ngobeni and Philiswa Dlamini, both from Qwaqwa, showed off Ngobeni’s designs, while local chief Nhlanhla Dube mingled with the people in full traditional attire.

The self-proclaimed “Last King of Dundee”, Sibusiso Madide, who was selling beer with his partners in their 3 000 Market company, said the weekend leading up to race day was a highlight on Dundee’s social calendar, with events culminating in a music show after the races.

At the starting line veterinarians working for the Coastal Horse Care Unit based in Cato Ridge inspected each horse for stiff joints and other injuries. Dorette Craus said the unit inspected horses twice a year at 18 sites as part of their commitment to the well-being and dignity of horses in the province.

In the corral where teens were briskly leading horses up and down to warm up or cool off, it was clear that all the owners also looked after their horses as best they could, even if all they could afford was to stitch together feed bags to make horse blankets.

The Dundee July enjoys the backing and support of the Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Arts and Culture departments. The aim is to grow the event into a self-sustaining revenue generator on par with the Durban July. Next year, organisers aim to involve riders from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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