On Saturday 28 March 2020 Durbanville Racecourse will host the second annual Klawervlei Race Day, sponsored by Betting World, and a simple “thank you” is the message organisers are trying to deliver to every single groom on the Western Cape racing circuit.
In a time when there have been misguided narratives on multiple media outlets regarding the relationship between grooms and the “higher-ups” in horseracing, it is refreshing to see Klawervlei and Betting World entertaining the grooms and their entire families to a day of food and craft stalls and even kids’ entertainment.
And Betting World will also put R10,000 in the grooms’ pockets, but there is a catch; they have to win that prize money on a soccer pitch.
Klawervlei encouraged the industry to arrange a 7-a-side soccer match for their staff, open specifically to registered grooms only.
As of now the tournament has attracted 11 teams from the likes of Snaith Racing, Bass Racing and Brett Crawford Racing – just to name a few.
They will take part in an eliminator challenge and winner will take all.
“The soccer tournament will kick off at about 10am and the final will take place right before the first race,” confirmed Micaela Cross, who takes care of PR Events for Klawervlei and also plays the role of assistant to Grant Knowles.
“The time is set up so the grooms and their families can enjoy racing, food and entertainment at the Market At The Barn after the soccer game.
“Last year we hosted 100+ people and we’re expecting a lot more this year.”
This is a beautiful initiative because it also includes the grooms who work at Stud farms. Teams from Highlands Ridgemont and Sandown Stud will also be gunning for the money.
Last year the tournament was won by Sands Racing.
The defending champions are not in this year’s line-up but Cross did confirm there may be one more team getting on board.
“The grooms take these matches seriously,” assured Cross.
“They have already put together soccer kits and it gets very competitive. It is always beautiful to watch and even more beautiful is getting to have their families at the barn to enjoy racing and entertainment.
“Grooms from stud farms do not get to come and watch racing at the course and even the guys who work for trainers are there to work. They can never just sit back and enjoy the day.”
With this initiative, Klawervlei have afforded these hard-working men the opportunity to just sit back and have fun.
“And it is to say thank you to all of them because without them nothing is possible,” added Cross.