The local horseracing fraternity is reeling in shock, following the untimely demise of Leeuloop – one of the country’s top and highly-decorated Nambred racehorses.
Leeuloop died in a freak truck accident in the vicinity of Okondjatu settlement in the Okakarara constituency last weekend.
Leeuloop, along with fellow popular racehorse and stablemate Give Me A Chance, both succumbed to serious injuries sustained during the accident, which saw the truck they were being transported in overturning.
Both horses belonged to the Okahandja Horseracing Club.
The truck, which was on its way to a horserace at Okahatjipara near Okondjatu, was also transporting other renowned racehorses –
2 000m reigning champion Starlile, and Rockley Beach. Both horses luckily escaped with minor injuries.
Leeuloop has since last year been in unstoppable form, and defeated both Von Trotha and Freedom Fighter to take the crown in the Nambred 2 000m Open category during the recent Standard Bank Kaondeka Horse Racing Event at Okahandja.
Give Me A Chance also gave a good account of himself at the same Okahandja race when it took second place in the Imports
1 000m Maiden category, finishing behind Mambos Express and ahead of third-placed Life’s a Trip.
Commenting on the demise of both Leeuloop and Give Me A Chance, vice president of Okahandja Horseracing Club Judge Katanga admitted the club has suffered a huge blow in terms of its top and well-bred racehorses, as they had made huge investments in both of them.
“It’s very disheartening and painful to lose such top horses. When you look at Leeuloop, it was one of our foremost horses here at Okahandja Horseracing Club, as it really flew our flag high at almost all races. We made investments in those horses as far as professional training and conditioning are concerned. It is really a sad loss. The same can be said about Give Me A Chance, a top horse as well. We have lost two great horses. But these things happen in life, and one must accept and plan for the future,” said a dejected Katanga.
While concerns around the transportation and general care of racehorses have been raised by various horseracing experts, Katanga maintained they, as a club, are serious about the business of horseracing and would never do anything to endanger their horses.
“We have proper horse trailers that were used to transport our horses at various occasions, but there are times when we have to transport more than seven horses to a race – and that becomes a bit challenging in terms of using horse trailers. That leaves us with no choice but to use a big truck to accommodate more horses. But it is a lesson learned – and going forward, we will plan much better.”