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Girl jockey gallops ahead

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese

She may only be seven years old, but Anothe Buthelezi is determined to jockey herself into the limelight as a top horse rider.

Anothe Buthelezi riding Blackberry after the Dundee July horse racing event.The future is bright for seven-year-old jockey Anothe Buthelezi who hails from Dundee in Northern KwaZulu-Natal. 

Buthelezi, who started horse racing at the age of four in 2015, has taken first place in a number of races, including the Indumeni knockout in the build-up to the Dundee July and the Umtelebhelo Heritage Cup.

At this year’s popular Dundee July, all eyes were on her as she was the youngest jockey to participate in the female race. She ended up in sixth position and was given a special prize for her participation. Her beloved horse Blackberry also won a prize for the best turned-out horse.

Buthelezi told Vuk’uzenzele that she wants to follow in her father's footsteps as he was once a horse racer. “I see myself winning big races, including the Vodacom Durban July,” she said.

Buthelezi’s father Menzi said his daughter is very special. “I just see a bright future ahead of her. From the age of three, Anothe wasn’t afraid of a horse. When I was still competing, she would take my horse for a post-ride cool-down. and when she was four, she told me that she wanted to ride.”

The little girl initially used her dad’s old horse Teargas but when he saw how talented she was, he bought her Blackberry.

A Grade one learner at Dundee Junior, Anothe recently secured sponsorship from Cosmic Transport to help her with jockey gear and transport money.

Although her career is jockeying nicely into place, Anothe has a back-up plan. She wants to be a veterinarian to help ensure that race horses are in tip-top shape.