WINNERS accumulated in Zimbabwe will no longer count towards the South African Jockey Championships. This was announced on Wednesday by the National Horseracing Authority (NHA).
In a statement from the NHA, it was explained that historically winners from both countries counted for the championships but that in recent times there had been “various comments” about whether the Jockeys’ Championship should include rides in Zimbabwe or whether it should be based on rides in South Africa only.
“While the National Horseracing Authority is responsible for the regulation of the sport of horseracing in both South Africa and Zimbabwe, they remain two countries, each with their own identities.
“It therefore makes sense that if South Africa is to give recognition to riders for their achievements, that any such recognition should be based on achievements within the borders of South Africa.
“As South Africa is only two weeks into its racing season and the racing season in Zimbabwe will only begin in September, it is an opportune time to revisit the statistics which determine the Jockeys’ Championship.
“Kindly be advised that the Jockeys’ Championship awarded in South Africa, henceforth, will be based on rides in South Africa only,” the NHA statement concluded.
The issue has been a touchy subject for quite a number of seasons and probably reached a climax last season when Gavin Lerena almost won the championship by winning a number of races in Harare.
A few seasons back there was a case of the apprentice award going to Derreck David ahead of Karis Teetan courtesy of his riding in Zimbabwe. Many people asked why Teetan’s wins in Mauritius did not count as well.