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Home / ‘Professor’ too smart for his students …Thousands flock to Okahatjipara July Handicap
‘Professor’ too smart for his students …Thousands flock to Okahatjipara July Handicap
2018-07-31Staff Report 2 Carlos Kambaekwa OKAHATJIPARA – The drought-stricken village of Okondjatu in the Otjozondjupa Region was a hive of activity when thousands of equestrian sport enthusiasts descended, like eagles on a hare, the usually quite enclave for the annual Okahatjipara July Handicap. Over 70 racehorses and their respective jockeys lined up as early as 09h00 in the morning to entertain the fans, who shouted on top of their lungs the names of their favourite horses at the packed-to-rafters Okahatjipara Turf Club Racetrack, on Saturday. Professor Supporters Club’s eleven-year old gilding ‘Professor’, paddled by experienced jockey Tambai, was without a shadow of doubt the star of the annual equestrian showpiece. The veteran locally-bred gilding tore his competitors to pieces in the prestigious Nambred D & A division 2200-meter King of the Dirt sprint – much to the delight of the appreciative large crowd. Professor almost galloped unchallenged as the 11-year-old gilding crossed the finishing line by almost six and quarter length ahead of his nearest challenger Von Trotha from Edison Kandjii stable (Otjinene), leaving the Professor Supporters Club General tailing in 3rd place to complete the podium spots. In the Import Kings 2200-meter sprint, Hogans Alley “Starlile” from the Okahandja Horseracing stable claimed 1st place ahead of Prince Delago (Angermund stable) and Surrptitious (Eamon Freygang stable) in that sequence. The gathering was attended by the who’s whos in the sporting and social circles including local socialite and historian Bob Kandetu and reigning Namibian champions African Stars Football Club’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) Lesley Kozonguizi, as well as sharp-tongued secretary-general of the Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU) Olsen Kahiriri. The latter could not contain his excitement about the sizeable turnout at the gathering. “It’s absolutely awesome, I’ve never in my entire life witnessed so many people, old and young demonstrating such a high level of enthusiasm at any other sporting event,” he told New Era Sports on the sidelines. “This is a crystal clear testimony that this particular sporting discipline has become extremely popular amongst sport followers and I must admit this particular sporting discipline has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last couple of years.” Nonetheless, the colourful trade unionist cautioned against getting carried away by the overwhelming success of the event. He urged race organisers to fully maximise on the popularity of horseracing and turn it into a sustainable revenue stream. “I would like to propose that the sporting aspect of this venture be scaled down to just thirty percent with the remaining 70 percent aimed at turning it into a potential commercial entity.” 2018-07-31Staff Report 2