BERLIN NOVEMBER RACE MOVING?
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.