This years Kenya Derby on April 1, which peaks Kenya’s horse-racing season, will be part of a tourism Expo and racing festival at the Ngong racecourse and Golf Park.
A lot of activities have been organised to grace the occasion starting on March 31. This was revealed on Thursday by the Managing Director of Kenya Tourism Board, Mureithi Ndegwa during a media briefing at the racecourse. Ndegwa said the time had come to extend domestic sports tourism and holding a tourism fair is the best way of doing it.
The aim is to invite tour operators, hoteliers, camp and lodge owners to market their companies through this two-day expo. The KTB, the major sponsors of the event have donated Sh1m and will be in partnership with last year’s Derby sponsors, The Spur Steak Ranches who have not only added in cash but will also host a “Miss Derby Kenya” competition with prizes to be won.
Ndegwa expressed his excitement at the partnership with the Jockey Club of Kenya and is optimistic many people will go to familiarise themselves with domestic markets and sports in general, horse racing being the focus of the weekend. Tom Fraser, the Jockey Club of Kenya director, expressed his appreciation at the generous input from both the KTB and The Spur Steak Ranches saying for the 108 years that racing has existed in Kenya, this year’s Derby stands to be the biggest. Gate charges have been lowered to Sh200 for the two days for adults and Sh50 for children above five years-of age.
The Kenya Derby is the major classic race in Kenya’s racing calendar. It was adopted from English racing where three-year-old horses’ race a distance of over 2,400m for the first time in their careers. All the eligible runners will be known on Tuesday next week.