Monday, 03 September 2018 13:20

The Racing Association Eastern Cape Awards Ceremony

Sugarbird Productions 18

The industry saluted the Eastern Cape stars of the season with one final awards ceremony at the Fairview Racecourse on Saturday night. In a black tie event, and the room filled to capacity, both the human and equine champions were crowned.

•    CHAMPION JOCKEY- Greg Cheyne
•    CHAMPION JOCKEY (Local)- Teaque Gould
•    CHAMPION GROOM- N Mkalali
•    CHAMPION TRAINER- Alan Greeff
•    CHAMPION OWNER- Mayfair Speculators
•    CHAMPION 2YO OLD FILLY- Madam Speaker
•    CHAMPION 3YO OLD FILLY- Widow’s Lamp
•    CHAMPION OLDER MARE- Star Burst Galaxy
•    CHAMPION STAYER- Desert Wisdom

HORSE OF THE YEAR was awarded to the Tara Laing trained superstar- Star Burst Galaxy


But it wasn’t just within our industry that we acknowledged outstanding achievements this past year.  

In November 2017 a group of stakeholders from Fairview Racecourse engaged the Nelson Mandela University School of Language, Media and Communication to discuss a collaborative project that would be undertaken in 2018 with the students of the media department. Dr Subeshini Moodley, acting head of the department of media and communications, senior lecturer in video production and film studies together with Mr Luciano Passerini (Phumelela Regional Manager) and Karin le Roux (Fairview Racecourse Promotions Manager) formalised a strategy to create a docu-narrative set at Fairview Racecourse with special emphasis on what happens behind the scenes in the run up to racing. The idea was to engage students in our community and effectively view the racecourse through the eyes of a younger generation whilst opening opportunities for their work experience to be showcased locally and alongside the international television broadcasting of horseracing on the DSTV Tellytrack channel.

The brief given to the students was to focus on ‘a day in the life of a thoroughbred race horse’ which could be interpreted as they experienced the interaction on course. The idea was to give the viewer insight into the work and effort that goes into caring and training these magnificent animals. This involved getting up really early, catching the sunrise and following horses around until they had captured the perfect shot. The process was supervised by a National Horseracing Authority representative, Ms Julia Keevy, a Stipendiary Steward for the Eastern Cape who introduced the students to the horses and ensured that they could move around safely and that people on course could get to know the crews involved with the project. Trainers and grooms on course were especially co-operative and allowed the students a sneak peek into the daily routines of their yards and the way in which they interact with their horses, which very few people are privileged to witness as the centre is a secure area ensuring the safety of all horses and people on course.

The filming started in April 2018 after the group of students had visited Fairview Racecourse in Greenbushes on a race day earlier in the year, as most had never been to a horse racing event this was particularly exciting witnessing a field of Thoroughbreds charging down the turf track for the first time. The outcome of the project culminated in the films being shown at the Racing Association Awards evening on the 1st September 2018 at Fairview Racecourse. The video productions submitted from the students all round were top class and the panel were most impressed by the quality produced by 3rd year and honours students of the Nelson Mandela University.

The top group ‘Sugarbird Productions’ consisting of students Melandri Koekamoer, Maryka Momberg, Vuyolwethu Mpongwana, Similile Qinel and Brendan Smit were awarded first prize which featured the gracious grey horse “Stormy Eclipse”, winner of the listed Memorial Mile race and trained by Ms Tara Laing. The prizes were contributed by Racing.It’s A Rush, Fairview Racecourse, The Racing Association and the National Horseracing Authority, which without their support, co-operation and enthusiasm to promote horse racing in the Eastern Cape this project would not have been possible. Furthermore, an internship at the Tellytrack studio was awarded to the top two students of the Department, Maryka Momberg and Ziyanda Bam who will spend a week at the Johannesburg studios in Rivonia experiencing the production and co-ordination of live broadcasting and televised feeds of horseracing. The success of the project and the superb work done by the students of the Nelson Mandela University is testament to the talent residing in Port Elizabeth.
We hope that these students will be inspired to continue showcasing this amazing industry as there is so much more for everyone to learn.

For more information on this and upcoming events- go to

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About A.B.C

African Betting Clan is established for the upliftment of the sports punter, who enjoys a bet on horseracing, football and other sports, enabling them to voice their views and opinions on all aspects of the sport of their choice, free of charge. Everyone who joins the CLAN, can discuss a multitude of sports events with a view to increasing the knowledge-base of all interested parties. Horse Racing is by far the most represented sport and we welcome the views of the many owners, trainers, punters and all racing stakeholders, all of whom post their contributions on our discussion forums. Members glean what they want to and discuss selections for the day and the general well being of the sport.

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