Lindele “Shorty” Feni. I am 37 years old and was born in Mtata, Transkei.
I am married to Nomaneni. I have two sets of twin boys and one daughter.
HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU WORKED FOR MDK AND WHAT ARE YOUR DUTIES?
I have worked here for 22 years. I am a work rider and groom. I travel every year to Dubai. I am a barn manager.
GIVE US DETAILS OF PAST EMPLOYMENT AND TELL US ABOUT YOUR RACING EXPERIENCE
I was 16 when I started working in the game for Trudie Houreau in Cape Town. Garth Puller was my mentor. After two years there I moved to Johan de Bruyn at Randjes. From there I joined Roy Unsworth for two years. Then I started at MDK as a groom and rider. I used to travel to Durban for the season. Then in 2004 I went to the UK and Dubai, that’s when I started traveling to Dubai every year since.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE HORSES?
My first favourite was Wolf Whistle, he won the Summer Cup in 2004. He was a well behaved horse and used to try his hardest to win. I went with him to Dubai and he won twice there including the Jebel Hatta. I also looked after Bold Silvano in Dubai and he won the Maktoum Challenge.
I have looked after top horses and they speak for themselves. The likes of Vercingetorix and Soft Falling Rain. In work Vercingetorix used to play but in a race he got down to business. Soft Falling Rain was quite a strong ride but very aggressive in his box. I have been to Hong Kong four times. I took Archipenko and he won the QE2. I also went with Variety Club. I enjoy working in Dubai. I have made many friend there. I can save money when I go to Dubai to support my family here. My son Anathi is also riding and working here at MDK now. I am guiding him and teaching him to be a good rider like me one day. My current favourite horse is Hawwaam, I sometimes ride him. Currently I am looking after a two year old by Silvano out of Quickwood.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR JOB?
People must be happy in their jobs, then their horses will be happy and win. When I ride the horses I try to keep quiet and calm and teach the horses the same.
(Headline photo: Shorty winning $1000 for “Best Turned Out Horse” in Dubai.)