Witness Reporter
3 minute read
11 Jun 2022
06:27

Thousands expected to attend Dundee July horse races

Witness Reporter

The 16th edition of the Dundee July Traditional Horse-racing event will make a spectacular return with spectators following two years of behind-the-scenes activities due to Covid-19 regulations.

The 16th edition of the Dundee July Traditional Horse-racing event will make a spectacular return with spectators following two years of behind-the-scenes activities due to Covid-19 regulations.

Details of the return of the popular Dundee July were announced by KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture Hlengiwe Mavimbela at the event’s media launch hosted at the Battlefields Country Lodge in Dundee on Friday.

“I am happy to announce that the 16th edition of the Dundee July will be held at Endumeni Horse Racing Track, Dundee on Saturday, July 16, 2022.

“This year’s event is expected to exceed all expectations with the addition of a few exciting programmes aimed at enhancing the line-up and offerings, to ensure a holistic experience for our patrons,” said MEC Mavimbela.

She said: 

“The 2022 Dundee July will be open to the public and we expect thousands of horse racing enthusiasts to flock into the venue for a day of exciting horse racing, fashion and entertainment. Further details about entry to the venue to ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations will be announced soon.”

MEC Mavimbela added that the theme for this year’s event is “Royalty” which represents African Royalty and symbolises presence and class. “Through this theme we are indicating our intention to take the development of the equine industry to even … greater heights,” she added.

She added that the department will continue to work with stakeholders to grow the equine industry which has potential to contribute to economic growth and job creation.

“Annually the department invests more than R8 million towards the equine industry development, including the hosting of horse-racing events in different districts as well as capacity building for the industry. I am happy to indicate that the traditional horse-racing sector now has a footprint in all 11 districts in the province,” she said.

This year’s Dundee July will feature 12 races, including national and international participants.

“We expect at least 400 jockeys and horse owners to participate in the Dundee July, including the build-up events. The total stake money is going to reach our target of R1,3 million for this year, which will further boost the economic benefits for the horse owners.

“Plans are at an advanced stage to avail betting facilities on site at this year’s event so that punters can place bets on their favourite horses, utilising credible information as compiled through the Stud book project.Formal betting will be happening for the first time in the history of the race,” said Mavimbela.

Over the years, the Dundee July has proven to be one of the major events which injects into the GDP of uMzinyathi. This event benefits both horse owners and jockeys with stake-money and other benefits such as access to veterinary services, horse feed, transportation, and hospitality. The Dundee July event alone contributes approximately R20 million to the local economy and creates over 700 job opportunities.

Once again, communities will open their homes for “Home Stays” — a programme run in partnership with KZN tourism. This year 30 local households will open their homes for the programme and make Bed and Breakfast establishments open to all the visitors who will be attending the event.

The Dundee July event will be preceded by a week-long build up of events — including the following activities:

• Miss Dundee July Ambassador, on July 9

• Equine Industry Expo, targeting schools and tertiary institutions on July 12-14

• Street Carnival Extravaganza, on July 15

• Dundee July main event, incorporating horse racing fashion and music extravaganza on July 16.

• The Dundee July Family Picnic, July 17

“The traditional horse racing sector still has a long way to go to reach the desired levels, but over the past 16 years we have seen vast improvements. We will spend the next few years, together with our partners, implementing ambitious plans to grow this sector to a brand we can all be proud of,” concluded MEC Mavimbela.