Monday, February 25, 2013

World-class horse riders from Yarona Hilltop Arabian Stud

When local entrepreneur Nchakha Moloi bought out the Hilltop Equestrian Farms and turned it into the Yarona Hilltop Arabian Stud, he did so in order to satisfy his children’s insatiable appetite for all things equestrian.

Thanks to Nchaka’s oldest son Kutloano, and his younger brother Sefanyo’s keen interest in being world-class horse riders, Yarona boasts thoroughbred Arabian horses that have not only brought back numerous international awards, but they have also assisted the growing business to realise a life-long dream of economically empowering Bethlehem.

A breeding programme that was established using two stallions from the US has proven to be fruitful as the horses’ offspring are reared and trained with the help of local community members who were previously disadvantaged. This initiative has seen a number of local and international horses being purchased to benefit the town’s residents and future generations who are being taught at an early stage in their lives how to breed, produce and train horses.

Constantly and consistently in touch with those around them, the Moloi family founded the Simply Red Equestrian Clothing Line as well as the Hilltop Saddlery - both of which are co-owned with Nkqubs - as yet another means to contribute positively to the people of this Free State town.

“Yarona came about so that our family could be involved in a competitive and rewarding sport. It has since become much more than just that, transforming into a lifestyle that is poised to impact a significant part of this region,” says Yarona Hilltop Arabian Stud founder, Nchaka Moloi.

“The Arabian is the oldest and purest horse breed and encapsulates all that - as an entrepreneur - I would look for in a business partner: intelligence, loyalty, performance, versatility, endurance and a strong personality. After all, we couldn’t let the future of our potential-filled town depend on anything other than the best,” adds Moloi.

While 14-year-old Kutloano and his 13-year-old brother Sefenya are setting records by being the youngest black South African horse riders to compete at the annual Scottsdale Arabian Show in the USA, their hometown of Bethlehem cannot keep up with the economic possibilities that have been brought about by the influx of individuals and groups who now frequent the town because of the Moloi’s growing Yarona Hilltop Arabian Stud.

By choosing to be based in Bethlehem, this equestrian centre is forming part of the multi-million Rand horse industry in South Africa that has been identified as one of the most promising sectors in the job creation drive.

As Kutloano and Sefenya master disciplines such as showjumping and endurance racing, so does the centre, planting seeds whose results will be reaped by future generations as the number of horse owners, related service providers and employees continue to increase on a yearly basis.

Yarona Hilltop Arabian Stud is part of a highly diverse industry that supports a wide variety of activities in all regions of the country. Equestrian activities combine the primarily rural activities of breeding, training, maintaining and riding horses with the more urban activities of operating racetracks, off-track betting parlours, horse shows and public sales, all benefitting the communities they operate in.

More critically, Kutloano and Sefenya’s remarkable efforts have meant that Yarona has also opened up a pastime and industry that has previously been perceived to be for the wealthy and white of South Africa, something that has changed radically in a short period of time since the centre started operating, exposing previously disadvantaged community members to much-needed exposure.

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