Bida horse racing tourney: President Tinubu’s horse retains 1st position

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s horse, named “Renewed Hope”, maintained its title of the fastest horse in Africa as it clinched the first position in the 2024 edition of the tournament held in Bida.

Tinubu is now the defending champion of the Bida horse tournament in Nigeria that was organised by the Horse Racing Federation of Nigeria.

It could be recalled that the same horse had topped the winners’ list at the 2022 and 2023 editions of the competition and has been the defending champion in the last three years.

Speaking at the event, Governor Mohammed Umaru-Bago of Niger state congratulated the president’s horse for taking the first position at the competition

Bago said he was elated with the unity of purpose that the federation has brought through the organisation of the event in the state.

The governor also commended the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Coordinator, National Coordinator of the Federation (Sarkin Dawaki Nupe), for their support in sustaining the success of the annual horse racing in Bida.

In his remarks, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, said efforts would be intensified to strengthen the cultural norms and values of the people through sports.

The Etsu Nupe, who is also the Chairman, Niger Council of Traditional Rulers, said this became necessary to prevent the cultures and traditions from going extinct.

”The race, which is traditional in nature, further provided an opportunity for the display of cultures as various cultural activities were on display,” the Etsu Nupe added.

Abubakar, who described horse racing as a historic event, expressed joy that it was fast gaining acceptance in the emirate.

He called on the residents to take full advantage of the economic opportunities of horse racing, especially as the riders from other states and countries participated in the epochal event.

He explained that the sport was accompanied by uniqueness, which portrays that animals can be controlled.

The Etsu Nupe acknowledged the diligent planning and execution of the event, saying, ”it encourages sportsmanship and fosters unity of the country, Africa and the world.

”This event also boosts the socio-economic development of Bida, Niger and Nigeria as a whole. We will sustain this enviable feat.

”We are happy that this is the fourth edition of this event and it has been successful. The next edition holds in Kaduna on June 26, In sha Allahu.”

The Emir of Lafiagi, Kwara, Alhaji Mohammed Kudu-Kawu, described the event as a veritable tool for uniting various traditional institutions.

He described horse racing as one of the age-long pastimes and rich cultural heritages of the people, commending the Etsu Nupe and the Sarkin Dawakin for a successful outing.

The emir also acknowledged the increasing acceptability of horse racing in the country and the world, saying that it was also becoming more profitable for the investors.

A traditional ruler from Umuahia, Abia state, Eze Sheikh Abdulfatai Chima-Eze, the Emetoma III, emphasised that the tournament was promoting national unity and excitement.

The Coordinator, National Horse Racing Federation of Nigeria, Sarkin Dawaki Nupe, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha-Bida, said that more measures were being taken to domesticate the competition in all parts of the country.

Mustapha-Bida, who is also the Chairman, New Niger Development Project, said that the event was organised as part of the commemoration of the one year anniversary of the Tinubu Presidency, saying that it was themed,”Renewed Hope’.

Mustapha-Bida stated that they had introduced the ”division system” in the event to be st par with the extant global best practices in horse racing.

“Nigeria is taking a lead in the horse racing in the comity of nations in Africa. We are very happy to be part of history and to have pushed to ensure that this has become a reality.

“We have five countries participating. They are Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali.

“These are our national partners during racing events in Nigeria, it is like an exchange programme, they come to race with us and then we go there to race with them in their different countries, ” Sarkin Dawaki Nupe added.

He said that the Renewed Hope was also expected to defend her championship in the completing races in Kaduna and Kano in June/July

Six Toyota vehicles were presented to the winners of various categories of race, second positions got N700,000 each, third and fourth received N500,000 and N300,000, respectively.