South Africa: Racing in rude health despite African Horse Sickness

(CNN)Firstly, I want to say hello and welcome to my first blog. I’m really looking forward to being involved with what is a well-established and respected racing program.

For my first Winning Post assignment I traveled to South Africa. We visited yearling sales, trainers, breeders and attended two race meetings at Cape Town’s Kenilworth Racecourse — it’s a well-supported and structured industry.

    However, during the course of the shoot, it became clear that the country’s harsh quarantine regulations are having a big impact on the growth of the sport.

    Industry in isolation

    Regulations surrounding African Horse Sickness — a highly infectious and frequently fatal disease — have isolated the country from the easy movement of horses. It takes, on average, six months for a horse to leave South Africa, according to Chris Van Niekerk, chairman of Cape Thoroughbred Sales, and then you have to add on any time taken to get the horse back to race fitness.


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