Girl jockey gal­lops ahead

Vuk'uzenzele - - Front Page - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

SHE MAY ONLY be seven years old, but Anothe Buthelezi is de­ter­mined to jockey her­self into the lime­light as a top horse rider.

The fu­ture is bright for seven-year-old jockey Anothe Buthelezi who hails from Dundee in North­ern KwaZulu-Natal.

Buthelezi, who started horse rac­ing at the age of four in 2015, has taken first place in a num­ber of races, in­clud­ing the In­du­meni knock­out in the build-up to the Dundee July and the Umteleb­h­elo Her­itage Cup.

At this year’s pop­u­lar Dundee July, all eyes were on her as she was the youngest jockey to par­tic­i­pate in the fe­male race. She ended up in sixth po­si­tion and was given a spe­cial prize for her par­tic­i­pa­tion. Her beloved horse Black­berry also won a prize for the best turned-out horse.

Buthelezi told Vuk’uzen­zele that she wants to fol­low in her fa­ther's foot­steps as he was once a horse racer. “I see my­self win­ning big races, in­clud­ing the Vo­da­com Dur­ban July,” she said.

Buthelezi’s fa­ther Menzi said his daugh­ter is very spe­cial. “I just see a bright fu­ture ahead of her. From the age of three, Anothe wasn’t afraid of a horse. When I was still com­pet­ing, she would take my horse for a post-ride cooldown. and when she was four, she told me that she wanted to ride.”

The lit­tle girl ini­tially used her dad’s old horse Tear­gas but when he saw how ta­lented she was, he bought her Black­berry.

A Grade one learner at Dundee Ju­nior, Anothe re­cently se­cured spon­sor­ship from Cos­mic Trans­port to help her with jockey gear and trans­port money.

Although her ca­reer is jock­ey­ing nicely into place, Anothe has a back-up plan. She wants to be a vet­eri­nar­ian to help en­sure that race horses are in tip-top shape.

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