THE Western Province Grooms School, managed by former jockey Craig Du Plooy and reported on in Turf Talk last month, is in danger of having to close its doors. WP Grooms School Chairman Adrian Todd said today: “Du Plooy’s enthusiasm in your article is heart-warming, but we have work to do to keep this going.

“We’ve already lost the schooling side due to lack funding, something we considered to play a vital role to providing opportunities for grooms in the Western Cape.

“The work riders’ section kept going, we need more improvements to be instituted but we are stuck. The school was previously funded via contributions from Kenilworth racing, privately sourced funds and premiums from the Western Province Owners & Trainers, but with the exception of Kenilworth racing the rest has fallen away.

“Our plans to develop the Work Riders School are unlikely to be implemented at this stage, without new funding in place. There is a current shortfall of R300,000 per year.”

Todd added: “We will be looking at new ways of funding, I will be consulting with Kenilworth Racing, the Racing Association, the Racing Trust and the broader racing community. We have to keep this vital transformation project alive.

“It’s not easy. We need a mechanism in place to ensure sustainable funding is in place. It’s just not fair, not right having to rely on the largesse of a handful of private donors every time.”

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