With the dust barely settled following an exciting Harry Gwala Summer Cup Rural Horse Riding yesterday, enthusiasm is already building up towards the staging of the 10th anniversary of the rural horse riding event next year.
Thousands of horse racing enthusiasts braved the chilly and misty weather at Kilmun village, near Underberg in the KZN midlands on Saturday, 18/11/18, to witness eight highly competitive races that saw jockeys and their horses compete for the total stake of R140 000, which has grown from last year’s R80 000 prize money.
The HGS is organized by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation, in collaboration with Harry Gwala District Municipality, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Local Municipality and the KZN Rural Horse Riding Association.
MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Bongi Sithole-Moloi was excited by the growing standard of organization and competition.
“After the success of the Dundee July early this year, we are excited to see the standard of the Harry Gwala Summer Cup improving tremendously. We would like to appreciate the overwhelming support shown by the community of Kilmun towards this magnificent event. People should start realizing that horses are not only for riding when you want to go the shops, but one can actually create a source of income through horse riding. This is a growing annual event and we want to encourage local citizens to take advantage of available opportunities,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.
Harry Gwala District Municipality Deputy Mayor, Ntuseng Maphasa-Duma said: “The event has shown impressive growth and we want to recognize and appreciate all stakeholders for their cooperative efforts in making this day a success. The Office of the MEC working together with the District Municipality and local Municipality has ensured the prioritization of local economic development and this was evidenced by the pilot accommodation project which has not only benefited the community financially, but has also left trained a personnel in terms of guests relations and customer care.”
NDZ Deputy Mayor, Philani Shange was equally excited about the economic spin-offs of hosting an event like the Summer Cup.
“The area Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality is a tourism destination. But we are happy that it is not only established hospitality areas that have benefitted this year. At least 10 families have directly benefitted after they let their establishments out some of the visitors who came to this event. With the event celebrating its 10 anniversary next year we are already looking forward to see more of our people benefiting from sport tourism opportunities brought by this event,” he said.
MEC Sithole Moloi said preparations for next year’s event will start in earnest in order to ensure that it is befitting of the 10th anniversary celebrations.