MEC launches Dundee July Rural Horse Riding for 2017

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The MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation in KwaZulu-Natal, Bongi Sithole-Moloi, has officially launched the 2017 Dundee July Horse Riding Festival which will be held at Dundee Race Track on Saturday, 15 July.

The race will be preceded by a colourful street carnival which will take place at the nearby Sibongile Township on Friday, 14 July.

Addressing the media and stakeholders during the launch in Dundee on Wednesday, 21 June, MEC Sithole-Moloi said the Dundee July has experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years and this year’s event is expected to reach even greater heights.

“Over the years the event has seen a phenomenal growth injecting millions of rands directly to the local economy, contributing to job creation and skills development. The Rural Horse Riding programme has served to promote, develop and recognise rural horse riding as a key activity within rural communities in KZN. The strategic partnerships between government, business and NGOs is rapidly transforming the quality and care of the horses, growing the races into mega-events and duly entrenching rural horse riding as an industry,” she added.

She added that by supporting the Dundee July and the development of rural horse riding industry, the Department is looking beyond the entertainment element.

“The purpose is not just to have this activity as an entertainment event only, but we want to use it as a catalyst for local economic development, job creation and skills development. We have already announced plans to grow the rural horse riding industry in all districts so that they could have their own signature events,” said Sithole-Moloi.

Stake money

MEC Sithole-Moloi also announced that the total stake money for this year’s race, which will feature eight races, will reach beyond R400 000, as negotiations with interested corporates were still underway.

“We wish to acknowledge the following partners that have already confirmed their investment into the stake for the 2017 Dundee July: Amathole Funerals and Village Events: R250 000; Ithala Bank: R100 000 and Orange Grove Dairy: R50 000. We want to encourage other stakeholders and corporates to also come on board to sponsor the Dundee July,” she said

“Let me conclude by emphasising that the Dundee July is about the development of the horse riding industry. As a result, we are paying attention to ensuring that participating in the Dundee July becomes a worthwhile effort and investment for jockeys and owners,” she added.

Chairperson of the KZN Rural Horse Riding Association, Menzi Buthelezi, said the horse owners and jockeys are ready to compete in this year’s event. He added that all districts have already completed their selections and are preparing their horses for the big day.

The race day will feature eight races, including the fully fledged ladies race and international races, a fashion showcase as well as an entertainment programme featuring local and established artists.

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