Kaudwane — As interest in horse racing mushrooms across Kweneng, the tiny village of Kaudwane at the mouth of Khutse Game Reserve is not left behind as it held its first ever horse racing competition over the weekend.
The race, which was organised by Leopard Ecology and Conservation which is involved in conservation work inside the park pooled 13 horse riders from the village and surrounding cattle posts to take part in four races being 400m, 600m, 800m and 1.4km.
Officiating at the event, the area Member of Parliament, Ngaka Ngaka encouraged the community to use the race as the beginning of good relations between themselves and Leopard Ecology and Conservation as such has the potential to build the reputation of the village and improve its economy.
He said involvement of non- villagers such as the organisers had the potential to inject new and untested ideas that the villagers themselves might not have.
He said the partnership between the two had seen the community coming up with the idea of a horse racing competition while Leopard Ecology and Conservation assisted with expertise in implementation.
The MP said the Kaudwane horse racing competition was the third of its nature in his area after that of Dutlwe and Motokwe, and said that negotiations with the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development were ongoing to the effect that in future the three races should work together such that one was used as the grand finale for the constituency.
A representative from Leopard Ecology and Conservation, Tshepo Tsito indicated that their intention was to hold the race annually, and said the objective was to build rapport with farmers so that together they could fight human-wildlife conflict.
He said his organisation, which has been in operation for 17 years, was well aware of the perennial conflict between farmers and wildlife, especially predation on livestock by large carnivores, which made enforcement of livestock management to reduce predation a must.
He said the race was a collaboration between his organisation and other government departments such as Wildlife and National Parks, Veterinary Services and some Non- Governmental Organisation as well as individual sponsors.
For his part, the grand winner, Obusitswe Pusoetsile who went home with P1 800 cash and a floating trophy said he had been in thorough preparations since February.
He encourage his fellow competitors who failed to win any prizes not to despair, but keep working hard. Pusoetsile won the 400m while the 600m was won by Lankey Kandjou.
Kandjou also won the 800m while the 1.4km was won by Kabo Gabolemelwe. Pusoetsile however, won the grand trophy by points accumulated after getting respectable positions in all the other races.BOPA
Source : BOPA