Across Reporter La Dépêche de Tahiti
On Sunday afternoon there was a good atmosphere at the Louis Beaumarie Racecourse in Perai. The French Polynesia Association for the Promotion of Equestrian and Breeding (AHEEPF) organized the first equestrian meeting of the 2021 season there, against the backdrop of Mother’s Day. The season was supposed to start on Sunday, May 9, but the president of AHEE-PF, Pierre Isal, favored the postponement, especially due to the current health measures.
Last Sunday, four races and a demonstration at Galop A were on the programme. “It’s a demonstration because they are just two horses in the running. You need at least three horses to do the race,” Equestrian Day organizer Alain Santoni explains.
For more than two years, the racetrack has stopped welcoming New Zealand horses for two reasons. The first, due to the Covid-19 pandemic: the closure of the border with New Zealand. The second reason is that the person who took care of this has retired and no one has taken over. The association must find a solution to ensure future horse racing in the coming years with the knowledge that a large number of horses have reached their resting age.
The first event, Sunday, saw the horses Erbe Owen, Luna de Mille and Sikora in the winning trio, in the Class B Ampel Belts race, over 2,200 meters with auto-start. The second race, on the starting line, saw four horses for a recorded trot race over 2,200 metres. “It’s the start of the season, we have to go the distance slowly. It was not easy to find the hat-trick, with a finish so tight that I had to resort to watching the video,” commented Alan Santoni. But the video images showed the victory of the horse Toarii, on the edge of a razor, followed by Gosimongo, Need Success and finally Zenarchy. It was a triple win for bookers 4, 2 and 3.
The third race saw Vahen Secret’s victory in the Gallup C and Junior B race. Unprecedented performance for this horse, which was ridden by the young Leila Calamel. In second place, we find a highly contested ending between the horse Fuego (2eRiding by jockey Kelly Crawford and horse Haifa (3e) with Juliet Topheron. The three horses ran 1,300 metres.
The last race was reserved for the five horses that entered the full horse category. “I had a great day coming up watching horse racing. I only won small amounts of money but the main thing is that I love horse racing,” Judith Razavindratuandro said. The second day of the horse race is scheduled for Sunday, June 20, with the first race starting at 2 pm. There are now eight horse races left through November.