Excitement, fashion and horse racing was the order of the day at Hollywoodbets Scottville Racecourse in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, 17 September 2022, for the Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup.
Under the theme: “African Lux”, the event kicked-off with traditional entertainment from the local community, such as traditional dancing and singing that captured the rich heritage of Mzansi.
Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup, which is a rural horse racing event, was founded in 2017 by community members of Willowfountain Village through the Willow Fountain Foundation. The inspiration or motivation to start such an event was encouraged by their love of horse racing as a sport and to keep the sport alive within the community.
Umtelebhelo is an isiZulu word which means “Trotting”. The sport of trotting horses is celebrated and recognised worldwide. The Willow Fountain Foundation consists of about 55 members who are local horse owners and over the years, they have not only allowed their community to benefit from the sport, but they have also extended invites to all horse owners in rural areas or villages in different provinces, including KZN, Eastern Cape, Free State and Lesotho.
The hosting of this event ensures that this sport creates a footprint in Africa and gains international footage and creates employment for locals including horse owners, groomsmen, security officers, and villagers who are involved in cultural entertainment and vendors.
As part of community upliftment, the Hollywood Foundation sponsored the Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup with R500 000 to further promote the sport and create more opportunities for disadvantage families and local community members.
”Sports Development in the rural communities is an area the Hollywood Foundation is excited to be partaking in. We do hope that our contribution to this year’s Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup will enable the upcoming horse owners and jockeys the opportunity to one day take part in bigger events such as the HDJ,” said Vuyisile Ngobese, Hollywood Foundation Public Relations Officer