This morning I feel sick to the bottom of my soul. I don’t want to hear about past champions, the good old days, or anything else about racing or Covid-19 for that matter.
Yesterday, to quote Sporting Post, the plight of horse racing in South Africa hit mainstream media. I saw the article in KZN’s Mercury yesterday morning and ran away from it. Impossible to do that forever, and today facing stark reality seems more than I can handle. This cannot be dismissed as fake news – this is where racing in Southern Africa is at present.
The prospect of euthanising 400 horses a month is a nightmare. Is this how we deal with defenceless, innocent animals we profess to love? The trainers are not to blame – if owners walk away for whatever economic reasons – they have no option. It is not their fault race meetings are put on hold – usually for no good reason. Social distancing is all very well and is easily achieved on courses racing without spectators. How sad that the fate of an industry and sport, which has survived for hundreds of years, can be determined by the ill-informed.
Borrowdale Park is closely aligned with, but not really part of racing in South Africa. Racing in Zimbabwe has battled to hold on for years and continues to do so despite not being allowed to race since March 27. I have heard a whisper that the Mashonaland Turf Club is doing what it can to assist owners and trainers during this difficult period. I hope this is true and, if it is, it is commendable. We have had some locally based white knights over the years, but they are few and far between – and we have never been in line for any other bailouts.
Perhaps next week will be better. We can only hope.