The Epukiro Horse Racing Club is amongst the many stables countrywide feeling the harsh economic pinch of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Omaheke-based horse club owner Iritjiua Murangi said it is becoming financially dreadful to keep up the maintenance of racehorses. Sharing the multiple effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s horse racing fraternity, which is one of Namibia’s fast growing pastimes and much loved sport, Murangi said with no competitions in sight for the immediate and foreseeable future is becoming a daily struggle to maintain thoroughbred racehorses without any additional income streams.
For many local racehorses and horse stable owners, their additional source of income mostly comes from the various major races hosted across the width and breadth of Namibia, which many a time also attracts competitors from as far as neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.
But with the current nationwide lockdown and ban of all sport and recreational activities, the local horse racing fraternity was also not spared from the distress of Covid-19 as no races have taken place countrywide due to the pandemic.
As for the Epukiro Horse Racing Club, which is home to four top racehorses and is owned by Murangi, the club was due to host its third major event in March this year in the Epukiro constituency but the event was abruptly cancelled as a result of the virus and the various government-installed regulations for Covid-19.
“At the moment, we are just here sitting with horses that needs to be maintained every day and it’s becoming very difficult by the day. Racehorses are not like your typical domesticated horses, as they [racehorses] need special maintenance and can’t be left to fend for themselves like the others. So, with no competitions coming up for now and possibly for more months to come, it is going to be very difficult for most horse and stable owners. We get a bit of income from competitions, if your horses win at races but now with no events in sight, it’s very frightening,” said a concerned Murangi.
Despite the many setbacks brought about by the virus, Murangi however, thanked his sponsors Standard Bank for standing by their side through this difficult period and said he hopes the virus will soon be contained so that normalcy prevails again.
“Without the unwavering support of Standard Bank, I don’t think many of our activities would have taken place and that’s why I want to personally thank them for remaining by our side throughout. I just hope the virus will be contained and things will hopefully return to normal. -email@example.com