Jubilation reigned at the Chanoga race course on October 1st as spectators celebrated the return of the popular horse race sport after a two-year break.
The Covid-19 social distancing regulations brought all sporting activity- including horse racing, across the country to a screeching halt when the pandemic struck in 2020.
But last week, with the 55th Independence Day celebrations marking an end of the State of Public Emergency and easing of Covid-19 regulations, whistles blew through the air and the earth reverberated as enthusiastic jockeys raced their horses in a stampede to the finish line, marking the return of the popular Chanoga-Boseja Independence race.
The event which attracted scores of horse lovers was organized by Councillor Moetetsi Mogalakwe of Makalamabedi ward.
“This event was started by the residents many years ago as a challenge to see who had the fastest horse” Mogalakwe recalls and adds as he narrates the brief history of the event: “The race started with three horses and eventually more jockeys were invited and the event grew with each race, becoming an annual event”.
Since its inception the race was sponsored with contributions from the community, but this time around, prominent businessman and politician, Reaboka Mbulawa sponsored the race.
“I was approached by the area councillor to sponsor with the prize money. My interest was the fact that it was the first in two years after SOE and the Covid-19 clamp down on recreation activities and social life across the country,” said Mbulawa.
Being a Covid-19 survivor himself, Mbulawa decided to sponsor the race as a way of contributing to the rehabilitation of the mind as Covid-19 has affected mental health in general.
“My wish is to use my company to add more vigilance as Covid-19 is real and being a survivor myself, having experienced it first hand,” added Mbulawa.
A horse named ‘Rainbow’ won the race with the jockey, Kori C’qasa, walking away with the P1 500.00 first prize while the second prize got P1000.00 and third prize, P700.00.