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Posted 2022-07-18 19:44:00  
4Racing spends special Mandela Day at the Soweto Equestrian Centre

4Racing today spent a very special Mandela Day in Rockville supporting the work of the Soweto Equestrian Centre.
Members of the 4Racing staff, led by CEO Fundi Sithebe, were joined by jockeys Gavin Lerena, Nathan Klink, and Diego de Gouveia, to pay tribute to the work done by Soweto Equestrian Centre founder Enos Mafokate, who opened the centre back in 2006 to promote a love and appreciation for equestrian sport in the Soweto community.
A former groom turned international show jumper who competed at events such as the Wembley Royal International Horse Show, Mafokate started the non-profit riding school to open the elite world of horse riding to Sowetans, who would otherwise never get the chance to ride on a horse.

Through his work at the centre Mafokate also set out to get disabled children onto horses and to provide an outlet to disadvantaged kids growing up in difficult circumstances in Soweto.

The centre has done phenomenal work in encouraging a love for horses in Soweto, with kids from the Soweto Equestrian Centre excelling in local and international shows and competitions, including winning titles at the South African Championships.
Part of 4Racing’s licensing conditions with the Gauteng Gambling Board includes a commitment to supporting non-profit organisations in the equestrian field, and Sithebe today pledged 4Racing’s support as part of this commitment to supporting the work of the Soweto Equestrian Centre.
4Racing staff and the jockeys joined in the Mandela Day activities of planting trees at the centre, grooming horses and painting the stables and riding arena, with the jockeys joining in on horse rides for the children and sharing their experience as top professional jockeys.
The Paul Peter Stable and Hyper Paint Syndicate supported the initiative by donating paint and supplies to the Soweto Equestrian Centre from their Booysen branch.
“It is a great honour and privilege for us as the 4Racing team to mark this year’s Mandela Day at the Soweto Equestrian Centre, to honour and recognise the incredible work done by Mr Enos Mafokate and his team in encouraging a love of horses and equestrian sport in Soweto. Mr Mafokate’s story is a truly inspirational one and we are very proud to be able to support his efforts today and really thankful to Gavin, Nathan and Diego for joining us in Soweto. A special thanks too to South Africa’s Champion Trainer this season, Paul Peter and the entire Peter and Hyper Paint Syndicate family for their support on what was a very moving and special day in Soweto,” said Sithebe.
Sithebe said 4Racing and the Soweto Equestrian Centre shared the same passion and vision, of encouraging a love for the beautiful horses that are at the absolute heart of all 4Racing and the Soweto Equestrian Centre does.
“We hope this is the start of a long-time relationship between 4Racing and the Soweto Equestrian Centre, and that we can support each other tangibly in our mutual love for beautiful horses, for horseracing and for equestrian sport in general. We hope our visit and the words of the jockeys will spark an interest in the world of professional horseracing in future and that we will see some of the youngsters here today becoming champion jockeys at Turffontein one day,” said Sithebe.
Mr Mafokate was thankful for the support of 4Racing and told the story of the difficult but ultimately rewarding journey he has undertaking over many decades now in sharing his love for horses with the community of Soweto.
Lerena said it was “beautiful to be out at the Soweto Equestrian Centre, especially on Mandela Day”.
“These animals are God’s gift to man. For the kids to keep them off the streets and occupied, there’s no better way to do it. Horses give you a love no one can explain, they are very special animals. Well done to Mr Enos Mafokate for this beautiful and special centre he has put together over many years. It’s fantastic to be here and we thank you very much for having us,” said Lerena.
 

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