Botswana: Horse Owners Call for Insurance Plan

Maun — Some horse owners have called on the Mascom Derby organisers to consider starting an insurance plan for the horses that participate in the annual race.They expressed their views in an interview after this year's Mascom Derby, as some horses died while some were injured during the race.

They wished there could be an insurance plan to cater for such incidents.

They also appreciated efforts made by Mascom and the organisers over the years but wished something could be done to improve the horse track to match that of international standards.

They also wished government could come on board and help with the construction of a better facility.

They attributed the incidents to the bad condition of the track, noting that it had a lot of small trees, which disturbed the horses' movements, as well as the size of the track, which could not accommodate many horses.

They further suggested that the P500 non-refundable registration fee be put aside to cater for such incidents.

One of the horse owners, Kabo Medupe from Kokotsha, whose horse die, appreciated that the derby had grown but said there was need for improvements in other areas such as the track and cooperation between the organisers and horse owners.

This year's event organisation, he said was not impressive as the track was not well prepared.

In the previous years, he said the track was better but this time 'it was a disaster hence we experienced a lot of accidents, which resulted in some jockeys and horses being seriously injured while some horses died'.

He highlighted that they had always communicated their concerns with the organisers.

Another horse owner from Ghanzi, Pasela Mothibi concurred that the race was marred by a lot of accidents due to the bad state of the track. He wished the organisers, together with the sponsor, could consider starting an insurance plan more so that the race attracted foreign horse riders.

One of his horses was also injured during the race.

Meanwhile, Mothibi said the event was a success and thanked Mascom and the organisers for a job well done.

Mascom acting chief executive officer, Dzene Makhwade-Seboni said it was their wish to see an international standard horse racing facility.

She said it was upon the horse racing industry to think outside the box and see how best they could be assisted in that area in order to take the industry to another level.

She appreciated that the derby had grown and stated that Mascom would continue sponsoring the event annually. The event has been in existence for the past 13 years and has attracted a lot of people locally and internationally.

Event chief organiser, Charles Mabua said efforts were being made to address horse owners' concerns, even though some were beyond their control.

He said every year they held meetings to iron out issues of concern.

The issue of the horse track, he said was not new as every year they grade it, but since they were using a ploughing field, they could not meet the expectations of the horse owners.

Mabua also dismissed reports that the accidents were caused by the bad status of the track, noting that they were caused by horses. He said they had already engaged Mascom on the insurance issue and they had already collected quotations.

He also stated that going forward, they want to have a better horse racing facility, noting that they had applied for a plot. Lastly, Mabua said the event was a success and thanked the horse owners, jockeys and Mascom for their support and cooperation.

Source : BOPA

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