“I asked my wife Rene what happened. She said I broke a 125-year-old duck,” Cape Town’s Ashwin Reynolds recalls in light of his horse, Kommetdieding, making history with their victory at the 2021 Durban July.

Why was it historic? Well, Reynolds is the first person of colour to own a July winner.

Reynolds remembers that his phone was ablaze with calls and messages after the victory was announced. “Now I know what it means to be a celebrity. I’m a guy who likes to get on with life, quietly. I don’t want to be a celebrity anymore,” he said with a chuckle as IOL confers.

However, the reality of it all only sunk in once he received a call from none other than legendary golfer, Gary Player.

His horse, Kommetdieding was ridden by jockey Gavin Lerna, and the two strode into victory over the 2.200m at the Hollywoodbets Greyville Racecourse in Durban.

Kommetdieding by name alone secures a sense of uniqueness. The Michelle Rix and Harold Crawford trained horse’s name translates roughly to the Afrikaans saying for ’bring it on, I’m not scared’,” Reynolds explained.

And the 3-year-old colt really did soar with a ‘bring it on’ attitude living up to the name by coming from the outside 18 draw and winning the hallmark 125th edition of the race.

“He became owner of Durban July champ Kommetdieding a horse that has only been racing for the past 12 months. The Durban July was only his seventh race,” as Cape Town Historical Society writes.

Not exactly love at first sight

As IOL writes, when Reynolds saw the horse, he nearly fell on his back, because “it looked like an ugly duckling”.

However, once he committed to Kommetdieding, the horse transformed beautifully.

For the love of horses

Reynolds expressed that his passion for horses began as a child. The love was later reignited by his role as result scorekeeper for his grandfather, a punter at the time, Good Things Guy reports.

Reynolds worked hard for many years, working in the UK as an artisan and then went on to start his own construction company in the Western Cape with his savings.

‘We were a poor family living in Grassy Park. When we had chops and eggs on Friday, we knew mom got paid.

He adds positively,” If you have family around you, you are never poor.”

Today he owns 17 other horses, however, his champion with the name we’ll never forget is the only horse he owns fully.

On how Kommetdieding got the name

 Reynolds explains that he was at the Algoa Cup in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) with friends and after a few drinks at a pub, he was actually dared to name the horse ‘Kommetdieding.”

He took on the challenge and called Rix later to inform him of the title. While Rix obliged, his wife Rene was not as willing.

“This is what happens when you drink,” she allegedly snapped to which Reynolds responded coolly:

“The deed is done.”

People seem to have mixed feelings about the name, with Reynolds boasting that some people from the Cape Flats are huge fans, while others struggle with the pronunciation. However, one thing is certain: it won’t be a name people forget.

On winning and breaking the glass ceiling of history

Winning the race was a “phenomenal achievement” for Reynolds who had always dreamed of being a horse owner in the Durban July. 

“I’m just happy and I broke an omen and more people of colour can follow my achievement,” he expressed.

Reynolds dedicated the win to his friend and fellow horse-owner Jumat Cola, who died from Covid-19, a day before the race, and Titus, his grandfather.

Picture: Facebook/ Cape Town Historical Society



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