It is official. The team of South African jockeys competing against an International side in this weekend’s two-leg Avis Coach Charter International Jockeys’ Challenge will be riding in the colours of the owners of the horses that they are riding.
This was confirmed yesterday by National Horseracing Authority Chief Executive Rob De Kock and ends weeks of behind-the-scenes speculation that has sadly dogged the exciting event.
The controversy reached boiling point this weekend when the organisers, represented by Racing Association CEO Larry Wainstein, effectively blamed outside parties for the predicament in which they found themselves.
NHA CEO Rob De Kock has clarified that as the jockeys are not members of a national federation affiliated to SASCOC, they cannot be awarded national colours. South Africa jockeys are not represented by one single body.
He confirmed that as a result thereof, it would not be permissible for the local team of jockeys to ride in national colours, nor any form of colours which depict the country which they represent.
This is in terms of the National Colours Regulations 2009 promulgated by the Government.
The international jockeys will rather bizarrely however, be riding in the colours of the country that they represent.
In exercising his discretion in terms of Rule 8.3.5, the NHA Chief Executive has decided that the team of international jockeys will ride in the colours of the country which they represent. This will no doubt go some way to enhancing the visual spectacle, but could create some additional homework for the race commentators involved.
The International test will be held at Turffontein on Friday evening and then at Clairwood in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday.
Despite the disappointment that the administrative shortcomings may have taken some of the lustre off the event, the presence of the international stars is bound to still provide an intriguing element of interest and excitement for punters.