Dundee will resound with hooves pounding the racetrack and the frenzied shouts of excited crowds as horses and jockeys race to the finish line when the annual rural race meeting comes to town from July 19-21.
Rural horse owners and jockeys from KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Lesotho will compete against each other for the winner’s title and stake money.
When it started in 2005 there were 30 participants and 1 500 spectators. Each year since then the Dundee July has seen phenomenal growth in the number of race-goers.
This year a crowd of around 20 000 horse racing enthusiasts is expected to converge on Dundee for the 2018 festivities which start on Thursday, July 19, in a two-day build-up to the big race day on Saturday, July 21. This is not to be missed and includes two high profile international races; a ladies event and a choreographed fashion show.
This rural horse tripling (bareback trotting) race event is the second KZN Department of Sport and Recreation flagship event run in collaboration with the Endumeni and Umzinyathi District municipalities.
Most districts within KZN participate and this year over 320 horse owners and 200 jockeys are expected in to compete in eight events.
The Ithala International Race is one of two international races on the cards that promise to be nail-biting as jockeys and horses from Lesotho, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape pit their skills and stamina against each other.
The event has enough entertainment to satisfy even the most discerning spectator. Fashion shows, music, dance and food tasting are just some of the activities on the three-day programme. A trade and exhibition fair kicks off the Dundee July festivities giving locals and visitors an opportunity to see the different products offered by the event’s partners and to buy clothing, crafts, food, horse grooming products and souvenirs.
A colourful street carnival procession sets the vibe on day two (Friday, July 20). Led by bikers, the horses and jockeys will be paraded, followed by an exhibition of traditional clothing, fashion from KZN’s upcoming designers, traditional dancing and more. Delicious food will get taste buds tingling and there will be plenty of music to keep spectators entertained. This is an event to be pencilled in on racegoers’ calendar and one not to be missed.