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LET’S BE POSITIVE..for a change

Winds of change, for the better, are breezing through Borrowdale Park. Last week Christopher Peech, the Mashonaland Turf Club chairman, advised MTC members that work has already begun on repositioning part of the course. He also detailed future plans which will transform our Turf Club into a viable entity, which will contribute to employment in general, enhance the area, and ensure live racing continues into the foreseeable future.

What more could those of us who are, and always have been Borrowdale Park fans, ask? In getting there we may have to put up with things we don’t like but let’s limit muttering and gnashing of teeth to a minimum – and be positive for a change.

I recently visited the on course “construction site” and have to admit my initial reaction fell into the “OMG I hope they know what they are doing” category. However after half an hour of eavesdropping on the experts, while dodging massive top loaders and so forth, I became caught up in their enthusiasm. Something is happening at last and the MTC’S Master Plan, revealed some time ago, seems not only possible, but probable, and I hope I’m still around to see it completed.


In the meantime what can we do while we are being positive, and waiting for the MTC Management Committee to sort everything out? Well, it’s no use having a snazzy racecourse without owners and trainers, so talk about syndicates, and remind friends we still race in Harare, and it’s fun.

Right now we need more owners, horses and trainers based at Borrowdale…and don’t be in such a hurry to retire your racehorse. Quite a few improve as time passes – when given the chance.

And talking about retiring horses (when they are 10-year-olds), we need to start thinking about their retirement.

Once the Master Plan is in operation and the MTC is able to concentrate solely on running racing and Lotto, it is anticipated the club will become an important donor to charitable causes. I like that…and because charity begins at home let us start, right away, investigating what is happening, worldwide, in terms of sanctuaries and re-training facilities for ex- racehorses.More horses will mean more will be looking for a happy home, once they have given us their best, or tried to, on the course.

I heard about the Old Friends Equine Organisation some time ago   It was formed in 2003, following on news that Kentucky Derby winner, Ferdinand, had died in a slaughterhouse. A Board of Directors was formed and it started with a leased paddock and two horses.

By 2014 Old Friends had grown into a 136-acre owned farm, additional leased acres, and a satellite facility in New York. In all, Old Friends supports over 150 rescued and retired. Thoroughbreds. They have brought back a stallion from Japan, are a registered charity, and hold open days for the public. Follow the link above for more information. Old Friends is very visible on social media and seems to raise funds very successfully that way.

It seems there are many sanctuaries for ex-racehorses in the United States and the United Kingdom. Heros in Britain have rehomed hundreds of horses, and another rehoming and retraining centre is . Some racecourses help out with subsidies, but most of the farms are also into fund raising themselves.

I have not completely lost it. I know everyone is currently facing difficult economic circumstances and that racing is an expensive hobby, but so are other things. While we are being positive we might as well think about doing something constructive, and good.

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