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The rural horse riding sport in South Africa was established more than 100 years ago in South Africa. Although it has been a sport that has predominantly attracted black rural people in Southern Africa, internationally it is more than an African sport, as in Southern Africa it is perceived to be a rural and cultural sport for rural people. Although the sport is called Umtelebhelo in Nguni language, which is southern Africa, in Australia and the United Kingdom it’s also recognized as trotters and pacers, in America it is known as Racking or Single Footers, in Mexico is called Andandura.

The sport of trotting horses is worldwide and is big internationally. As a social event in South Africa Umtelebhelo has broken tribal and political barriers, the walls of hatred and community segregation created by the political and tribal wars which commenced in the 80’s. The love for horses has created unity amongst several tribal and political communities from Kwa-Zulu Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia. Rural horse racing is the racing of local horses in rural areas around Southern Africa; these horses are owned by families in the rural areas which are used as a source of transport from point A to point B.

In KZN all rural horse riders that race Umtelebhelo fall under KZN rural horse riding and breeding association, even though you find that those that live on the extreme ends of KZN find it hard to race against each other due to the amount of money to spend since you would have to travel and find accommodation. The KwaZulu-Natal Rural Horse Racing Association (KZNRHRA) has a calendar of events that goes from north of KZN all the way down to the south KZN.

Willowfountain Gold Circle Christmas Cup 2015

The Willowfountain Gold Circle Christmas Cup 2015 was a huge success with the number of participants reaching new heights with over eighty participants from all over Kwa-Zulu Natal. In addition to that, there were provinces like Free State, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and neighbouring country Lesotho. Another highlight of the day was the number of dignitaries who were present on the day namely: Ms Belinda Scotts (Kwa-Zulu Natal Minister of Treasury); Mr Mawethu Mosary (IEC); Mr Mosses Tembe (Deputy Chairperson forGold Circle (Pty) Ltd); Mr M.J.R Mauvis, Mr M Smith (Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd); Dr Peter Olmesdahl and Ms Gillian Olmesdahl (Coastal Horse Care Unit) and Dr Z.L Mkhize (Host).

Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup 2017

The Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup 2017 was a huge success with the number of participants reaching new heights with over eighty participants from all over Kwa-Zulu Natal, provinces like Free State, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga and neighbouring country Lesotho.
Another highlight of the day was the number of dignitaries who were present on the day namely: Mr Raf Shaik Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd) ; Mr Tonny Revalland (Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd); Mr Graeme Hawkins; Ms Veronica Jack (Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd), Dr Phumla Mnganga (Chairperson for Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd); Mr Michel Nairac (CEO for Gold Circle (Pty) Ltd); Mr Mick Goss (Director for Summerhill Stud); Mr Thabani Nzimande (Summerhill Stud); Mr Shaun Parker (Chief Stipendiary Steward); Mr Bheki Zulu (Ikusasa Le-Africa Foundation) and Dr Z.L Mkhize (Host).

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Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup event made it possible for rural communities to gather and experience this unique sport in a world class equestrian arena like Scottville race course. The spectator attendance was estimated to be approximately over 11 000 which included woman and children. This event will remain the talk of the Pietermaritzburg town for months to come as it has registered itself as one of the signature events within the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

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