It is not just about the racing at the annual Berlin November extravaganza set to get under way in Berlin in just a few weeks time, but horse welfare is a key agenda on the annual events planner.
With only around 120 horses able to take part in the days action, many horse breeders, trainers and jockeys from around the province and country are set to miss out on competing on the day.
However Berlin November founder Luthando Bara is encouraging owners and trainers to bring their horses down on the day nonetheless.
“We usually have over 250 registered riders and horses that come down for the race, however not all of them qualify for the event,” said Bara.
“What happens is you register the horse and then confirm that it meets the set requirements stipulated, with your registration also subject to the clearance of the horse on the day of the event.
“We do this to encourage owners to take good care of the transportation and health of the animals, with many of them coming from afar and travelling long distances, so we encourage them to sleep over so the horses are in the best possible condition.
“On the day the department of rural development and agricultural reform inspects the condition of the horse and if a horse does not meet the standard it will be disqualified.
“We are hoping this will educate the horse-racing community and certain standards must be met for the Berlin November in terms of animal care.”
However even if horses do not make it into the actual racing on the day, there will still be plenty of services available for owners and horses to take advantage on at the event.
Top veterinary care will be available on the day, as well as a host of other activities, including horse parades and other things that will interest horse enthusiasts.
“We welcome all of the horses that come down, even if they don’t participate in the races as we have an agreement with the department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform and those horses that come down will all receive the best possible veterinarian care,” said Bara.
“We don’t want this just to be a racing event, but for it to be a convergence point for horses to get different services that they would normally not be able to get.
“So we would love to see horses that come down receive proper vaccinations and proper care and we encourage owners to bring their horses down even if they don’t compete.”
In an effort to streamline entries for future editions of the Berlin November a qualifying phase is being planned to be brought in where horses will first have to make it through the qualifying rounds if they are to be considered for the main event.
This will make sure that only the best of the best make it to the race while also making sure owners know who will be competing ahead of the event.
“In the near future we are going to introduce pre-qualifying races so that the horses that we have participating in the Berlin November are ones that have made it through qualification and that will help us limit the registrations and make sure there are not too many disappointed owners and jockeys missing out,” said Bara.
The Berlin November takes place on Saturday November 25.