For many, the Durban July is a not-to-miss event in the calendar of South African horse racing.
It is Africa’s premiere sporting and social event; it is the only sporting event that brings together racing horses and jockeys, millionaire playboys, politicians, celebrities, socialites and fashionistas to the shores of Durban and, in particular, to the Greyville racecourse. In short, Durban July is a socialite’s event of choice, the only place where fashion and horses parade on the same footing.
It is with this Durban in mind that a group of young Batswana horse racing enthusiasts will be hosting a bush horse race event on October 2, this year. Speaking to Standard Lifestyle, Golden Horse Riding Club committee member, Karabo Morapedi, said they intend to revolutionize horse racing in the country. He says while there are horse racing events in the country, locals are not very keen on them as they do not feel they are for them, something which they want to change.
“We want to be the club of lifestyle with character that being of interesting, educational, caring and fun horse-related activities, thereby contributing to the well being of the socio-economic life of all Batswana and hence to the diversification of Botswana’s economy,” he said.
Morapedi says as such, their intention is to turn their annual bush horse racing event into an international event that will attract the best thorough bred horses internationally.
He says that for the past three years, they have been attending the Vodacom Durban July with the sole intention of learning how to organise and host a major sporting and social event.The club has already bought a thorough bred horse and intends to go into breeding thoroughbred horses. As a work in progress, for this year’s races, due to be held at Topisi, the club is planning to give race goers an African Wilderness Safari experience. Morapedi says, with the race course being in the wilderness, race goers will have the opportunity to camp and experience sleeping on Africa’s wilderness far from the hustle and bustle of civilization.
He says they will also have horse riding tours to the historical sites of Toutswemogale, where people will learn the histories and culture of Batswana. Apart from this, they will have cultural exhibitions, where locals will display their works, including pottery as well as have bonfires at night. He says currently they are negotiating with the corporate world to come on board and the prospects look good. He said that they are also engaging local fashion houses to partner them in future events.
Just like in any international horse racing event, those attending the event are allowed to bet on horses and win.
Morapedi says concerning entertainment, DJ Power had confirmed he will come to entertain the race goers while negotiations with other entertainers are continuing. Apart from these, they also intend to bring in traditional dancers as well as poets. He says the entertainment will be done in between the races.