Bling Sends A Message

Lockdown note from the pen of former SA champion

Hi, I’m S’manga Khumalo, former champion jockey of South Africa.

On behalf of everyone in our Industry I would like to extend our sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones to this invisible virus Covid-19 in South Africa and the rest of the world.

S'manga Khumalo receives his gloves from HKJC CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges

S’manga Khumalo – in Hong Kong in 2013 

I firmly believe that as representatives of the human race we can beat this monster if we adhere to the advice of our health experts.

We should practice social distancing, sanitize thoroughly on numerous occasions, be mindful when coughing or sneezing, wear a face mask if possible and self isolate if the need arises.

We should also steer clear of the elderly at all times and of course only leave our homes if it is an absolute necessity – that is to purchase food or medical supplies.

At this point in time nothing is more important than saving lives.

To our heroes at the frontline, the doctors, nurses, cooks, cleaners and others giving their lives to save ours, we salute you. You all are our inspiration. Remember the more we adhere to the experts advice, the more we are showing respect to these heroes. Let’s do our share!

I would also like to say thank you to the South African racing authorities who are taking care of the staff needs at the respective training centres.

The grooms are also sacrificing their lives for these wonderful animals and I thank them wholeheartedly.

Also, I truly appreciate the monumental attempts being made by the NHA,  Phumelela and Gold Circle to get our season back on track.

I totally understand the reduction of stakes and apologise to the wonderful owners in advance – but of course this is unfortunately unavoidable. The reduction of stakes will also hit us jockeys hard in our pockets -but money isn’t everything and I for one will just be totally appreciative to race again, remembering that I am fortunate to be doing something I love. Money can buy most things in life but for me it can’t buy passion.

In closing, I just pray that our President will pardon our beloved industry come 1 May and we can continue our great sport, even if it is behind closed doors with limited movement and other restrictions, if required.

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