By Carlos Kambaekwa
The Namibia Horse Racing Association is to host its 2nd race of the season at the Rehoboth Race Track this Saturday.
More than forty horses and their jockeys are expected to line up in the seven various categories on offer, with Irish Assembly of Katia Beukes once again hot favourite to walk away with honours in the prestigious 1,800-metre race.
Irish Assembly won the last horse race on the Namibian calendar, the Coastal Horse Racing Championship in Swakopmund on New Year’s Day, and jockey Kaapnaar Diergaardt is likely to show his fellow competitors a clean pair of hoofs once again.
However, the Irish Eyes might not be smiling all the way this time around – leaving the whole of Rehoboth swinging their allegiance to the likes of Golden Aim from the MDN Racing Stable and Young Sid owned by Danny Beukes, while Bobby van Wyk’s Time Bomb will be waiting in the wings to live up to his name.
Hendrik van Niekerk from the Cattle Country (Gobabis) has already confirmed entries of four horses in different divisions. A significant number of horses are also expected from Keetmanshoop.
There will be two races on the cards for strictly locally bred horses and the event’s organizers have called on the public to come out in large numbers and witness an equestrian sport second to none.
“It’s a real pity we won’t have any participants from the Aminuis community this time as a result of the exorbitant prizes horse owners had to fork out for purchasing thorough-bred horses from South Africa, these days,” said Emon Freygang regretfully.
Despite the vast popularity of horse racing in Namibia, notably amongst the Baster, Tswana and Otjiherero-speaking communities – this particular discipline is becoming an extremely expensive exercise with horses fetching hefty prizes in the region of N$15 000 each.
This weekend’s race has all the ingredients to separate Marries from the Stallions, ahead of the most sought after July Handicap to be hosted by the Windhoek Turf Club, on the 28th of next month.