South African horses have traveled the world in the recent past winning races in almost every continent but with little help from international authorities with regards to their travel and difficult restrictions placed on the countries race horses. SAHorseracing.COM paid the quarantine station a special visit to report on the South African stars heading to Dubai. (Image: Igugu and Amanee during a morning walk),
(228 PHOTOS OF THE FACILITY CAN BE FOUND HERE INCLUDING ALL THE SAF HORSES)
Mauritius has always been a good friend to the South African racing industry and provided a solution to our horses as a easier means to get them out of the country. A light at the end of the dark tunnel has been the recent development of a quarantine facility in Mauritius built by Subu Gujadhur, a member fifth generation of the famous Gujadhur racing dynasty on the island, on the east coast of Mauritius at Poste Lafayette.
After obtaining his permit to house the quarantine station and import horses, the long road to provide South African horses with a decent place to reside in Mauritius became a reality. The process started some 12 years ago with a vision of developing a private training area for the stables own horses. On visiting the area, Gujadhur, kindly allowed us access to this prime piece of horse real estate.
He takes up the story, "My Dad Rameshwar , wife Varsha , son Abhishek and I developed this place on our own, no plans, just vision and ambition."
The vision they have shown in getting this property to where it is at present shows the know how of this family in the racing industry and the love and affection they foster for horses. They have been over 100 years in the racing industry on the island when the island is now celebrating 200 years of racing itself.
"It was a long and arduous road, some 12 years since we started. The aim was to create a training area for our own horses which we stabled in our private estate near this facility.
"Horses can walk to the beach from here, it is so close and so tranquil, and if the tide is right we can take them a swim" he stated.
You could see the pride in his smile when speaking about this development like nurturing a child into an adult through hard work and determination. The Gujadhur family arrived on the island as indentured labourers workers in the sugar industry and ended up owning a substantial part of the sugar industry on the island, a story that South African Indians can relate to, especially in Kwazulu Natal. The respect paths of Indians from India arriving in South Africa and Mauritius in the late 1800's are similar. The love for horse racing is also evident with both regions experiencing high concentrations of population involved in the industry in some shape or form.
The opportunity to use the facility as a base for South African horses arose when Candice Hobday met with the family the a project was put into plan, the understanding and the belief is now history and so as the rest . The place was quickly converted into a full on quarantine facility with vector protection and is duly licensed and authorised by the veterinary services of the ministry of agriculture.
The Family built 20 boxes initially in May 2011 after an agreement was reached between the family and Candice Hobday of Hobday Equestrian Enterprises . The understanding was instant and they started a partnership which to date has been on mutual understanding and trust with a view to provide value for money for horses to transit through Mauritius to different parts of the world and then a further 40 boxes were built to accommodate the increase in the flow of horses which now also houses sport horses and arabians. The facility offers 60 boxes and today they have 30 horses out of which 16 are for the cream of South African horses to fly the Rainbow Nations' colours in Dubai next year. There is space for more and Gujadhur is hoping to attract other South African horses via trainers and owners to use his facility which can be described as good as any for this purpose and some may even say state of the art facility in this part of the world.
Gujadhur's establishment has risen sharply in overall value since the likes of Igugu and other group 1 winners arrived on the property. The total value of horse flesh on the property is mind boggling. Gujadhur's estate can now boast the winners of most of the major races in South Africa. It is a major boost for his operation and acknowledgement to the establishment itself.
The equine stars will call this facility at their Poste Lafayette home for the next 90 days, ready to fulfill protocol by their September departure date.
Trevor Brown, who is there on behalf of Mike de Kock, the primary trainer of horses at the facility, states that he could not have be happier and that the place is heaven for horses which transit this beautiful island to face the best the world can offer with these provisions” and that the track itself is of natural sand and he believes it to be "great for his horses itself and it shows it was built by a horseman who understands the need for the animal welfare and Subu is always on hand to make sure that no stone is left unturned to make things easy for both humans and horses ".
The likes of Igugu and Soft Falling Rain are the stand out horses in the pack of 14 in total. However, their seems to be a champion in every box with the likes of Dancewiththedevil likely to join a European based trainer for a season or two chasing European group glory. Val De Ra is also amongst the group. She will be bred overseas.
The property offers more than adequate accommodation which has modern comforts to suit the needs of the horseman staying on the site. With the horses only arriving on Friday 29th June, everyone is relatively new to the surrounds.
The track is 800m in circumference and was used by Gujadhur to train his horses when he opened the center back in 2001, for his own training purposes as he stated earlier.
The facility is widely gaining a reputation as being the best facility on the island available to South African trainers and owners.
Even though the 90 day post arrival quarantine is in place and then a further month in the European union, Gujadhur has created an opportunity for Saf horses to be housed in a safe and comfortable surrounds.
228 PHOTOS OF THE FACILITY CAN BE FOUND HERE INCLUDING ALL THE SAF HORSES
The horses currently there include:
Soft Falling Rain
Val De Ra
El Estruenoso (Arg)
*We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gujadhur family for their generosity extended to us during our visit and also would like thank the Ministry of Agriculture for giving us the permission to visit this equine quarantine facility.