MASERU — The Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation will on Sunday hold a horse racing competition to celebrate Her Majesty Queen ‘Masenate Mohato Seeiso’s birthday.
Queen ‘Masenate turned 36 on June 2. The ministry has provided M100 000 for the competition.
Initiated by the Linare Horse Racing Club, the competition will be held at Peka Race Course in Leribe.
Linare Horse Race Club member Thabo Tsiki said the competition is open to all competitors around the country.
Tsiki said the M100 000 will be shared among the two categories — triple and flat race categories.
He said although the competition is meant to celebrate the queen’s birthday it will help develop the horse racing sport in the country.
“This is an annual competition which has been running since it started in 2006. It has attracted over 100 competing horses throughout the years and this year we are hoping to see a larger number.”
The two categories have sub-categories of beginners, amateurs and veterans. This, Tsiki said, provides a platform for everyone who wants to participate.
“We have had competitors from outside Lesotho and that shows growth. We are looking to turn the event into a big one that would measure up to the Durban July,” he said.
He said the competition provides entertainment on a different scale.
“We have seen spectators of all ages. The day is a family day and there is also a betting table for spectators to bet on their favourite horses tipped to win the competition,” he said.
He said judges of the competition are Basotho individual in the horse racing sport.
In a separate interview, Kahlolo Ntene of Linare Horse Racing Club said the competition started off as a triple competition because “Leribe is identified with excellent triple horse stunts”.
“After we received assistance from the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation we saw the need to make it a national competition and since then it has attracted people from across the county and South Africa,” Ntene said.
Ntene said they initiated the competition to celebrate the queen’s birthday because “she is a born and bred daughter of Leribe and it was proper to celebrate her”.