The Chairperson of the KZN Rural Horse Riding Association Mr. Menzi Buthelezi pointed out a few changes to this year’s Dundee July horse riding event (Umtelebhelo). This year is a very special one in the horse racing field since there are new defending horses to be launched in the tracks. ”Well, we have new defending horses like Mbayimbayi owned by Mr. Gumede, Trouble-maker, MaZondo and Zamcolo,” said Menzi Buthelezi . As it was seen, Alpha and Omega from Mpumalanga province clinched the trophy in the previous year.

One of the horses who’ll be on the tracks,Zamcolo. (Picture by Siwe Shozi)

There will be 11 championship races with over 200 horses ready to dominate the track for the first time in history of championship racing in the country. Remarkably there has been a rise in under-12 category participation. “From my observation, there is a growing faction of young racers in the under-12 category. Typically, we race six or seven-year-old horses but this year they are almost reaching twelve,” Buthelezi noted.

Expect another taste of competition this time around when players from Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Lesotho and Gauteng take part for the first time. This move is expected to rejuvenate races and bring about more competitiveness and excitement.

The stakes are much higher this year as far as prize money is concerned with no less than R300 000 being offered for the main race. This big amount of money aims at improving the popularity and respect that come along with hosting such events.

This year’s under-12 race is highly anticipated. “The under-12 race this year is what we are looking forward to,” Buthelezi stated, an indication of a deliberate emphasis on developing young talent in racing.

These changes indicate a positive development in the sport of horse racing. “The horse race competition has completely changed for the better. The jockeys are one and united thus it is clear that, our race too is growing with the Dundee July” said Buthelezi.

With heightened enthusiasm among jockeys and participants as the competition approaches, it is apparent that there is a bright future ahead for this sport. For proof of these developments one needs only to look at the Dundee July.

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