A Fun Day for grooms based at the Vaal was staged by trainers, jockeys, the Vaal Grooms’ committee and a group of sponsors at the country track on Sunday.

Our headline photo shows jockey Piere Strydom congratulating Phumelela’s Darren McEwan on a victory by Racing It’s A Rush team over Scott Kenny’s Homeboys in the soccer tournament final featured on the day.

Vaal trainer Louis Goosen tells:  “This was a marvellous day out, we had about 500 people here and the spirit was fantastic. We had a makeshift soccer pitch in front of the old Vaal grandstand and after 14 knockout games the NHA Handler’s It’s A Rush team won the contest, they were too good on the day.”

Goosen said every participating player received R50 – there were 128 of them – and additional bigger prizes were handed out to those who progressed through the rounds, the winners received near R1,000 for their efforts. This was sponsored by a variety of contributors including Phumelela and the Racing Association, a well as jockeys, trainers and private individuals.

“We all had ‘Pap and Sous’ for lunch, at just R5 per helping, for which the trainers clubbed in further with braai packs.”

The Vaal grooms have representatives for each of the 19 trainers based at the Vaal, while a committee of three chosen grooms represent the Vaal at meetings with Phumelela.