Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: KZN Grooms Initiative Celebrates Milestone

KZN Grooms Initiative Celebrates Milestone

Bongani Mayeshema

The 1000th winner in KwaZulu-Natal horse racing’s Grooms Initiative, proudly powered by Hollywoodbets and Gold Circle, brought up the significant milestone of R1 Million having been awarded to winning grooms since its inception in October 2019.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The 1000th winner received his prize at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Wednesday, 6 January 2021 after the final race of the day.

The initiative sees the rewarding of R1 000 to the groom of the winning horse of every race at the Hollywoodbets Greyville and Hollywoodbets Scottsville racecourses.

This is over and above the earnings paid out from their stable when the horses under their care win races.

Bongani Mayeshema, the groom of the 6-year-old gelding, LESLIES PATHTOFAME, was announced as the 1000th Grooms Initiative winner, after the final race at Hollywoodbets Greyville racecourse on Wednesday, 6 January.

Mr Mayeshema, who works for trainer Frank Robinson, was presented with the normal R1 000 cash incentive, plus an additional bonus of R1 000 for being the 1000th milestone winner, together with a commemorative trophy.

Watch the race below:

The R1 million milestone was achieved through a contribution of R500 000 by Gold Circle, and R500 000 by Hollywoodbets.

The campaign has thus far seen 530 different grooms winning the incentive, 245 grooms winning it more than once, and 29 winning it on five occasions or more. Siyabulela Ntusi, who works for the Gavin van Zyl stable, is the leading groom in number of wins, having won the incentive nine times.

Jockeys Ride Horses 

“We are very proud of this R1 Million landmark figure the Grooms Initiative has achieved, and the part Hollywoodbets and Gold Circle continue to play in improving the horse racing industry for all stakeholders,” said Hollywoodbets Brand and Communication Manager, Devin Heffer.

“This initiative has seen grooms now being appropriately recognised in the race card, and being included in the post-race presentation for every race. Winning a race in KZN has also become more significant, with raiding stables from the Highveld and the Western Cape also having their grooms eligible for the award. 138 of the 530 winning grooms have been from outside of KZN.”

Gold Circle’s Events and Marketing Executive, Steve Marshall, lauded the positive knock-on effect the initiative has had in the horse racing industry. “This ground-breaking initiative has set the stage for our fellow operators to follow suit, with Cape Racing recently announcing their Star Grooms Campaign presented by Khaya Stables, which further recognises the integral role that grooms play in the horseracing industry.”

“The R1 million milestone does not signify the end of this initiative. Hollywoodbets and Gold Circle will continue the Grooms Initiative for the remainder of the 2020/21 racing season, and we look forward to working closer with the Purple Team on more initiatives in the coming months.”

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