BERLIN NOVEM­BER RACE MOV­ING?

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - ROSS ROCHE [email protected]­patch.co.za

An­nual fes­ti­val con­sid­ers re­lo­cat­ing if dis­rup­tions and sab­o­tage to track con­tin­ues

The an­nual Berlin Novem­ber horse race may find it­self a new venue if acts of van­dal­ism and in­tim­i­da­tion con­tinue to threaten it.

This was the warn­ing from event founder Luthando Bara.

“We had the worst space for plan­ning this event this year,” said Bara. “It was the most costly event be­cause we had to pro­vide se­cu­rity for two months. We had to fix things that were bro­ken un­nec­es­sar­ily, we had to deal with threats of burn­ing mar­quees.

“So I want to thank all the lo­cal sup­pli­ers for risk­ing their equip­ment amidst the threats of burn­ing and van­dal­ism but made sure they were here on time and helped make sure the event ran as sched­uled.”

Bara ad­mit­ted that hold­ing the event in Berlin would not be pos­si­ble if the same prob­lems per­sisted next year and the event would then be moved.

“We are now look­ing for­ward to 2019. We are hop­ing that the peo­ple of Berlin truly ap­pre­ci­ate the lit­tle we have done to put the town on the map and it will be sad if to this date they do not un­der­stand the value of what we have done,” said Bara.

Se­cu­rity was on high alert fol­low­ing a spate of at­tacks on prop­erty and threats to torch it in the run-up to the event.

De­spite the rough start, an­other suc­cess­ful show was put on with peo­ple turn­ing up in their num­bers to wit­ness the horse-rac­ing ex­trav­a­ganza.

“Over 35,000 peo­ple turned out for the event, while a very in­ter­est­ing movie was shot in Berlin on that day and will be pre­mièred next year. It’s those things that ex­cite us and put Berlin on the map.”

Look­ing to the fu­ture Bara be­lieves that there is still plenty to come from the event, with many ideas of how to make it even big­ger and bet­ter.

This in­cludes a league sea­son with var­i­ous events hosted over the year at dif­fer­ent venues.

“This is to make sure that we have more horse races through out the year, so that the horses are kept fit and ac­tive and don’t just com­pete once a year.

“It is also to take the Berlin Novem­ber con­cept to other ar­eas like Tsolo Junc­tion, Du­tywa or Queenstown, so that peo­ple have a chance to par­tic­i­pate, then come Novem­ber it be­comes the fi­nale of what has hap­pened over the year.”

Bara said sup­port from the lo­cal gov­ern­ment was needed if these ideas were to come to fruition.

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