Now there’s racing from Namibia

Candle's Girl - 800m sprint winner

International reports on the Geegeez website have covered races from many of the countries where racing is a regular occurrence. We’ve even taken in Mongolia, where it isn’t. I didn’t ever expect to be writing about Namibia, where the fledgling racing industry has what we would consider some rather primitive aspects to it.

Take the Otjakomaue Horse Racing Track last weekend. For those who are unfamiliar with this venue, it’s at Farm Dankbaar, near Okondjatu. Now you know! Here, the winner of the top race of the day, the senior Nambred 2,000 metre event, was a horse called Hitler. According to the website of New Era, the newspaper for a new Namibia, it “moved like greased lightning, striking everywhere to rewrite the history books by becoming the first horse in the short history of local horse racing to clinch all available silverware on offer at the Otjakomaue Horse Racing Track.”
We’ll say no more about the horse – it doesn’t know anything about the name it’s been burdened with. There was no prize money for the connections; they went home with a Brahman heifer for their efforts.

New Era reports that races took place over distances ranging from a 100-metre sprint (though I think there must be a nought missing) up to 2,000 metres. Candle's Girl was a surprise winner of the 800 metre maiden. Fields were clearly small, as there were 12 races, and only just over 30 horses taking part.

I’m fully behind the paper when it reported that “The organisers deserve a pat on the back for living up to their early promise to have a fully-fledged ambulance equipped with a qualified nurse on standby in case of emergencies. This is in addition to a qualified veterinarian who ran an eye over the welfare of the participating animals during the race, while all jockeys were obliged to wear helmets for protection against any potential injuries.”

Medical and veterinarian services clearly are not yet automatic requirements.

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