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How Popular Is Horse Racing In East Africa?

How Popular Is Horse Racing In East Africa
Horse Racing Activity. Photo credit: Travelswithmyart.com

Africa isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about horse racing. However, there is a huge spike in horse racing popularity in this region over the past decade. Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world, and it is mainly spread by the British through their colonies all around the world.

The origins of the sport date back to Great Britain when they started organizing professional horse races. This format quickly spread to other countries like France, the United States, Australia, and the Middle-east.

In the US specifically, the Triple Crown involves a lot of money in betting prizes as you can see by the odds of the Preakness Stakes here: https://www.twinspires.com/preakness-stakes/odds

However, in the past decade, we’ve seen many practices where Africans are trying to adopt the horse racing culture by organizing professional horse racing events. In today’s article, we will focus on East African countries, and see how the horse racing community is advancing.

Kenya

Just like in most parts of the world, horse racing in Kenya is considered to be a rich sport, and what’s interesting is that the country has a rather rich history of horse racing. Kenya is the most advanced country in East Africa when it comes to horse racing, and the sport is quite popular among the people.

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During the colonization, at one point Kenya had two horse racing tracks in Ngong and Kariorkor, but over the years only the Ngong Race managed to survive. The management of the Ngong Race Course formed a partnership with the South Africa Jockey team, which is considered the most advanced on the continent.

The Nairobi Ngong Race Course is a beautiful place packed with lots of entertainment apart from the main horse racing event. It also has four restaurants where spectators, guests, trainers, and club members can grab a meal or two during a race day.

The Ngong Race Course has four types of tracks, namely Sand and Dirt surface. It is a beautiful racecourse that can accommodate thousands of visitors during a race day.

On top of that Kenya has a really advanced betting system that allows both online and offline betting on horses. Since horse racing and betting are unseparated, the lively betting community pushes the popularity of the sport even more.

Uganda

Horse racing is a young sport in Uganda that was only introduced to the country more than a decade ago. Compared to Kenya, Uganda doesn’t have as many popular horse races every year. In the past decade, horse racing in Uganda received a lot of love from the residents as well as tourists.

Horse racing started in Kakira at the Nile Polo Club 80km from the city Centre, but then quickly spread to other cities like Kampala the capital city of Uganda.

The Uganda racing community partnered with many local organizers that helped them build a rich horse racing climate. Their goal is to lunch a Perl’s Rich Equestrian race, that will be the most popular race in Africa.

At the moment, there aren’t many popular horse races organized in Uganda, but as the horse racing fever spreads, more people get interested in “the sport of kings”. On top of that, with a high level of enthusiasm, chances are that Uganda will build a strong horse racing community in the upcoming years.

Tanzania

Tanzania doesn’t have a rich history with horse racing, but in the past couple of years, the locals start to appreciate the sport thanks to their love for horse racing betting. In the Tanzania Investment Act of 1997, the country legalized betting for both land-based and online bookmakers.

This made horse racing betting very popular among the residents. When it comes to organizing horse races, Tanzania doesn’t have any racetracks at the moment. However, as the popularity of horse racing grows, chances are that local organizations will start to look at the chance for organizing professional horse races in the country.

At the moment, you can only enjoy horse racing on the TV or take a trip to Kenya to watch some big horse races. Since the popularity of horse racing in Kenya is at its highest point, there is a good chance that Kenya can influence its neighbors and convince them to join this fast-moving trend toward horse racing adoption.

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