Horse racing fans can take heart that the 2020 Vodacom Durban July will take place this year, but as a broadcast-only event behind closed doors.
Vodacom and Gold Circle have confirmed a joint commitment to run Africa’s Greatest Horseracing Event, but under the strictest adherence to all government health protocols surrounding COVID-19.
“Gold Circle, together with the ongoing support of the company’s valued sponsor Vodacom, is fully committed to running the 2020 Vodacom Durban July. Sadly, given the reality of the present circumstances, the race meeting will be staged behind closed doors and without spectators,” said Gold Circle CEO Michel Nairac. “The VDJ has enjoyed an uninterrupted history since first being run in 1897 – not even two world wars prevented the race from being run – and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that 2020 is not the exception,” he added.
The proposed date for the race is Saturday 25 July, but the extremely fluid nature of the current pandemic means this could change as circumstances so dictate.
“Any decision we make around the Vodacom Durban July this year will be made as a responsible company committed to the safety of all who are involved. As a sponsor, we will work together with all relevant stakeholders and be guided by the horse racing fraternity and the experts in this industry, as well as in government, as we all work towards making this year’s race a reality,” said Michelle van Eyden, the Executive Head of Sponsorship at Vodacom.