A confirmed case of African Horse Sickness in Gauteng has cast an ominous shadow over the Cape Summer Season with doubts expressed about whether horses from that province will be able to travel to Cape Town.
The Sporting Post reported the outbreak on Saturday morning, saying: “This will unfortunately affect movement into the controlled area for a lot of Kyalami and Randjesfontein and it will impact on movement to the Cape area.”
Mike de Kock, after winning the Victory Moon with the Sun Met-intended Soqrat at the Vaal that afternoon, said: “Hopefully we will sort out all this Horse Sickness nonsense because, if Gauteng horses can’t race in Cape Town, then it is not a season worth talking about.”
The eight-time champion, who is also a founder director of SA Equine Health & Protocols – the company set up to re-open South Africa for direct exports, added: “In South African racing we have got our problems and we are in trouble. We need every bit of betting turnover and we need every bit of participation.
“The powers-that-be need to get their heads around things – and this has to happen. If we have no confidence to travel horses within our own country how can we give our trading partners confidence?”
By Michael Clower