Kaizer Chiefs took the Club’s motto of Love & Peace into a brand new arena this weekend by celebrating Gauteng’s horseracing grooms in a pulsating football tournament at the Turffontein Racecourse.
The grooms, who play a crucial role in the development, training and race day performance of the country’s elite thoroughbred race horses, are the lifeblood of the horseracing industry and Chiefs actively supported horseracing operator, 4Racing, on what was a fantastic day of football the grooms will never forget.
Grooms from Turffontein, Randjiesfontein and the Vaal participated in the event, along with a team from 4Racing, with Randjiesfontein’s grooms emerging as the victors after beating Turffontein 3-1 in a penalty shootout after the exciting final finished 2-2.
The tournament was a huge success and on a day that will live long in the memory. Amakhosi painted South Africa’s home of horseracing Gold & Black and sponsored playing kit for all four teams, as well as providing plenty of Chiefs merchandise as prizes throughout the day.
The grooms were treated like the superstars they are, with the winning teams competing for a prize pool of R20 000 and beaming as they did so, adorned in brand new Amakhosi jerseys, playing in front of a big, passionate crowd.
Kaizer Chiefs’ delegation was led by Marketing Director, Jessica Motaung, an avid horseracing enthusiast and racehorse owner herself, while Club legends Shane MacGregor, William Shongwe and Derrick Spencer were also on hand to support the teams on the day.
For Motaung, it was a chance to celebrate the Club’s supporters in a different light and to shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes of the horseracing industry.
“I understand the importance of grooms, their love for horses and the work they do behind the scenes. It was important as a brand for us to honour them, to give them Chiefs kit and equipment, and to give them the opportunity to live out their passions and dreams. This grooms’ tournament is wonderful for us. These are our supporters, people who are passionate about the game. This is a way of allowing them to showcase their love for football and for the Club, and it’s wonderful to see the work that they are doing,” said Motaung, whose intimate involvement with beautiful thoroughbreds includes the regal horses, Brave Viking, Harold The Duke and Lady Zultanite.
The grooms were beside themselves, buzzing as they donned the colours and full playing kit of the Amakhosi, living out their football fantasies and passion for a game they love just as much as they do horseracing.
In the first semi-final ‘derby’ Turffontein had beaten a 4Racing staff team 4-1, with Randjiesfontein too strong for the Vaal grooms in the second semi-final, winning 5-2.
In a pulsating finale, Randjiesfontein came from 2-0 down against Turffontein to equalise with two late goals, and then won the penalty shootout 3-1 to claim the R10 000 winners’ prize and floating trophy for their day’s efforts.
Turffontein’s grooms won R5 000 for their runners-up spot, with the losing semi-finalists splitting the remaining R5 000 prize pot.
“Chiefs is an institution loved by so many families in all parts of the country. Tapping into different avenues, like the Club has done in supporting the grooms tournament, is very important. For the grooms, getting the opportunity to play in the football kit of Kaizer Chiefs - and being treated like stars - is a beautiful moment they will never forget,” said Chiefs goalkeeping legend, Shongwe.