Organisers announce new date for this year's Vodacom Durban July

This year's Durban July has been moved to a new date.
This year's Durban July has been moved to a new date.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images

This year's Vodacom Durban July has been moved to a new date, organisers confirmed on Wednesday. 

The horse racing extravaganza, which was scheduled to take place on July 4, has been moved to July 25 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gold Circle, organisers of the famed event, have also agreed to push back the major feature race programme to May 31, and the 100th running of the season-ending Gold Cup race day, to August 29.

Speaking of the change was Gold Circle CEO Michel Nairac, who said: “The Vodacom Durban July is the pinnacle of the South African racing calendar, and there is massive support from the racing community, sponsors, media and the many regular supporters who attend the event.

“We are wholly aligned with the national plan to deal with this pandemic, and whatever regulations are in place at the time of the Vodacom Durban July will be strictly enforced.”

Adding to this was Gold Circle’s Marketing Executive, Steve Marshall, who said that while there would be inevitable adjustments to activities on the big day, it was still too early to make decisions on these at this stage.

He added that the traditional three-month fashion programme, synonymous with the build-up to the Vodacom Durban July, would be affected, and that more emphasis would be placed on the race day fashion programme this year.

“The Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award is a critical part of that programme, and it is already being worked on as part of the syllabus at many fashion design colleges and technikons,” said Marshall.

“This pandemic has forced all South Africans to rethink the way we go about our daily lives, and we will be doing the same with the fashion programme and embracing digital technology as best we can to keep the important elements of the fashion programme going without compromising any of our support for the national regulations in place to fight this virus,” he added.

Marshall said that more information would be made available in the coming weeks detailing how the adjusted pre-race day programme would be rolled out, and urged fans to keep a close eye on the event website and relevant social media channels.