Gobabis July rivals Durban in fashion

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Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro
Windhoek

The Durban July and Ascot have over the years become known as the catwalks of racegoers, away from the conventional catwalks of the fashion worlds.

The Gobabis race has upped its class in the couture division with racegoers imitating if not rivalling their fellows at the much more well-known world horseraces in terms of fashion.

“The British upper class is famous for its fortitude in the face of adversity, but Royal Ascot racegoers were getting hot under their collars as they sweltered in formal clothes in the UK’s summer heatwave Tuesday.

“As temperatures soared to nearly 30c at the Berkshire venue, west of London, organisers said they were considering relaxing the strict dress code for the five-day Royal Meeting, one of the highlights of the British summer’s sporting, fashion and cultural calendar.

“But while women racegoers were able to flaunt their summer outfits, Ascot officials stuck to their guns, and gentlemen in the requisite top hat and tails in the Royal Enclosure were ordered to keep jackets on despite the heat,” CNN wrote about the fashions at Britain’s premier horseracing event early this month.

Gobabis-based designer and tailor, Lady Nambunga, who specialises in Ovaherero traditional dresses, testifies that this year’s July Handicap, unlike in previous years, seems to have tickled the fancies of fashionistas.

Especially, it seems for those who have been demanding special for designs at the eleventh hour.

The event thus promises a fashion extravaganza like none other and will perhaps rival if not equal its more famous counterparts in Durban and London.

She says that she has equally been approached by supporters of various teams competing in the Debmarine Cup for outfits in the colours of their various teams.

Gobabis, is expected to be bursting at its seams tomorrow when the July handicap takes place at the Gobabis Turf Club, which is quickly assuming the role of one of the country’s most popular horseracing venues ? just behind Windhoek, and Rehoboth, which lead the pack in this regard.

For the first time in the history of horseracing in Namibia, this year’s event boasts a whopping sponsorship of N$100,000.

Omaheke regional sports officer and national horseracing coordinator, Stanley Tjozongoro, says the biggest attendance they have experienced at previous horseracing event in Gobabis was about 5000 people.

However, this weekend they expect the July Handicap, one of Namibia’s premier horseracing event, to surpass this number.

He has no doubt that the town has the capacity to accommodate the masses expected in the town, which this weekend also hosts the Debmarine Cup soccer matches.

Tjozongoro says interest among horseracing fans, both young and old, has been evident among fans and fanatics from even as far as Windhoek.

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