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Rural horse riding enthusiasts are in for another equestrian treat when the annual Harry Gwala Summer Cup Rural Horse Riding event takes place in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands on Saturday, 19 November 2016.

The event is the second largest rural horse riding contest after the much popular Dundee July which attracts thousands of people to the town of Dundee in July annually.



The Harry Gwala Summer Cup, which is in its 7th year, is held every November at Kilimoni village lying between Bulwer and Underberg in the KZN midlands under the newly amalgamated Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Municipality (NDZ). It is hosted by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation in conjunction with Harry Gwala District Municipality and NDZ as well as other stakeholders including the Rural Horse Riding Association.



The event is taking place for the first time under the newly amalgamated NDZ Municipality, which was formed after the discontinuation of Ingwe and KwaSani Municipalities following the August 3 Municipal elections.   



MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation Bongi Sithole-Moloi said the hosting of the race is in line with one of government priorities, to bring development to rural areas.



“We are proud to host the Harry Gwala Summer Cup, which is one of the prestigious events in our calendar. 



This event fits in well with our focus on youth development and upliftment of rural communities. The majority of jockeys that are participating in the event are young people from Harry Gwala and other districts in the Province. There will also be an opportunity for local youth to showcase their talent in arts and culture, with a number of local artists being featured in the music extravaganza that will accompany the horseracing action,” she said.



She said the event is also bringing a lot of economic benefits for the locals with small businesses being offered an opportunity to sell their products to the thousands of horse racing enthusiasts. The hospitality industry will also benefit as the event draws visitors from outside the district. The facility has in the past two years undergone major upgrade including the building of a permanent race track and allied amenities.



“Our aim as the Department is to have signature events for each district that will contribute towards economic growth in the different regions. Harry Gwala Summer Cup is one of the events that we want to see grow even bigger in order to realise more benefits for local people,” said MEC Sithole-Moloi.



Festivities for the Harry Gwala Summer Cup will start on Friday, 18/11, with a sports contest between two local schools that will compete in netball and football. This will be followed by the musical talent show, featuring upcoming artists. Action starts at 10am on Saturday.



Like the Dundee July, the southern chapter of the race is not a conventional galloping racing event but a trotting contest, with the fastest horse claiming the honours.  The occasion is very popular among local residents and they wait for it with great anticipation each year.



Other partners who make this event possible are Gold Circle, Provincial Department of Arts and Culture, Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Coastal Horse Care Unit, KZN Rural Horse Riding Association, Farmgate Dairy and Love Life.

  
 
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