Rural horse racing gains public's interest

Monday, November 15, 2010

Durban - Interest is growing in traditional horse racing in KwaZulu-Natal, with the help of the Department of Arts, Culture, Sports and Recreation.

In Kilmon, a small East Griqualand village overlooking the Drakensberg Mountains, traditional or rural horse riding has been practiced for centuries but there have been few opportunities for people to compete professionally.

However, with government support, the community successfully hosted the Sisonke Summer Cup at the weekend. Attendance figures were pegged at around 1 000 people, which far exceeded the expectations by the department.

The department had provided financial and logistical support for the hosting of Sinsonke.

Departmental spokesperson, Mike Mthembu said the attendance was clear evidence of their passion for the sport in the area. "Here they can only dream of other forms of entertainment that urban people often take for granted," he said.

Lydia Johnson, the acting MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, was overwhelmed with the magnitude of the support for traditional horse riding in the Sisonke District. She said her department would carry on supporting future races.

The UMzinyathi District took the trophy for the overall best performance, while Zululand and Amajuba were tied on points in the second place.