I must admit that we haven’t been giving enough credit and applause to our local horse race organisers and racehorse owners for a job well done, and for pushing the envelope further in the tough and financially-demanding sport of horseracing.
Many years ago, horseracing was widely viewed as just a mere pastime for uncivilised rural sports fanatics. But that misplaced perception has since died a natural death, and the sport of horseracing is slowly but surely taking its rightful place as one of the foremost sports disciplines on the Namibian sporting calendar.
The unstoppable rise of horseracing is, however, no accident. For years, racehorse owners, clubs and event organisers took it upon themselves to have their affairs in apple-pie order by organising events at well-maintained tracks, through good marketing and with well-trained horses and jockeys.
They did all this by themselves without any financial assistance. It was all out of passion for the sport of horseracing and for the love of the fans. But guess what? Sponsors took notice and started getting involved.
Today, the entertainment, unity and jovialness that horseracing offers is up there with the likes of football, rugby and boxing. Attending a horseracing event on any day is always value for one’s hard-earned money.
But like I said, the rise of local horseracing is no accident or luck; it is a culmination of hard work, good organisation of events, consistency and a clear roadmap of what they want to achieve as a collective.
As I persistently indicate, sponsors want nothing but proper mileage from events and from their money. Therefore, it is important that sports codes and event organisers develop a clear picture of how their events will benefit the potential sponsors, and also indicate the number of fans they attract to their events on average. Horseracing has perfectly done that and they are now reaping the benefits.
Not just horseracing, Cricket Namibia, local boxing and more recently the Namibia Rugby Union have all done that and they too are now enjoying the fruits of their good organisation of events, good governance, transparency and progressiveness.
Sponsors want to be associated with the best values that can compliment their brand values and principles, and I must admit that the racehorse owners have understood that importance and that’s why we are now seeing the likes of MTC, FNB Namibia, Standard Bank Namibia and many other local individual sponsors coming on board in various capacities.
Kudos to the local horseracing fraternity for understanding the assignment and from here going forward, let the sport of horseracing be benchmarked by the expansion of races to all regions, improved jockey conditions and renumeration, and upgraded racing tracks. Until next time, sharp sharp!!