first_imgRichard Baltas621112918%52%$598,163 Doug O’Neill698151112%49%$650,258 Mark Glatt3165419%48%$225,650 Jerry Hollendorfer591081117%49%$891,304 Gary Sherlock2353222%43%$135,110 Stewart Elliott70871311%40%$347,490 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS (Current Through Thursday, Feb. 2) UNIQUE BELLA MEETS CHAMP IN GRADE II LAS VIRGENESThere are those who have mentioned Unique Bella in the same breath with herstablemate,  two-time Eclipse Award champion filly Songbird, although Jerry Hollendorfer likely would say that’s putting the cart before the horse, although he allows that Unique Bella is “a special filly.”The daughter of Tapit tries two turns for the first time in Sunday’s Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile, and is the 3-5 morning line favorite to succeed.Unique Bella won the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes at seven furlongs by 7 ½ lengths while geared down in her three-year-old debut, beating stablemate It Tiz Well. Competition is likely to be stiffer Sunday in the form of Eclipse Award champion two-year-old filly Champagne Room, who has been firing morning bullets for her three-year-old debut.Trained by Peter Eurton, Champagne Room has not raced since winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita on Nov. 5.The Las Virgenes, race six of eight: Mopotism, Flavien Prat 6-1; Champagne Room, Mario Gutierrez, 5-2; Mistressofthenight, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Unique Bella, Mike Smith, 3-5; and Miss Southern Miss, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1. FINISH LINES: Happy Birthday wishes are in order for the Voice of Santa Anita, Michael Wrona.  A native of Brisbane, Australia, Wrona was foaled 51 years ago today . . .  Midnight Storm, a multiple graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt, remains ticketed for the Grade I, $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 11. “Absolutely,” trainer Phil D’Amato said. “That’s what we’re planning. We’re going to breeze this weekend and keep him on that schedule all the way into the race.” Marathoner Big John B. worked five furlongs Thursday in 1:02. “He’s doing great,” D’Amato said. “I missed the San Marcos with him, but we’ll probably hit the next one (San Luis Rey at 1 ½ miles on turf March 25) or the Tokyo City Cup (at 1 ½ miles on dirt April 2), which he won last year.” Also scheduled to work Saturday is three-year-old filly champion of 2015 Stellar Wind for John Sadler . . . Suspension City: Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux, third in the standings with 14 wins, has been suspended three days (Feb. 12, 16 and 17) for careless riding aboard Aotearoa in Sunday’s ninth race; Martin Garcia has been banished the same three days for careless riding on Senator Robert in Sunday’s fifth race, resulting in a disqualification from second to fifth; Flavien Prat is banned Feb. 9, 10 and 11 for careless riding on Run Macho Run in the second race Feb. 2; and the CHRB has denied Norberto Arroyo Jr.’s appeal from last October, suspending him six days (Feb. 9, 10, 11, 12, 16 and 17) . . . There was one winning Pick Six ticket Thursday worth $319,148, bought through TwinSpires.com for $648 . . . On Sunday, the day of The Big Game, live racing at Santa Anita begins at 11 a.m., allowing fans to watch three-point favorite New England against Atlanta at Sirona’s Sports Bar after the races or to be home in time to see it. Sirona’s will offer $5 drink specials all day. General admission to the track that day is only one dollar. Flavien Prat9522101623%51%$1,283,793 Martin Pedroza5377913%43%$269,443 Mike Smith2161429%52%$607,500 HOLLENDORFER TARGETS THREE STAKES THIS WEEKENDJerry Hollendorfer has horses entered in six races this weekend, three of them stakes, so the Hall of Fame trainer and his assistant Dan Ward will be busy, as is their wont.The 70-year-old Hollendorfer adheres to the U.S. Postal Service credo. Be it rain, sleet or snow, the mail must get through.Hollendorfer has Ike Walker entered in the Grade II Palos Verdes Stakes for four-year-olds and up at six furlongs and Sheer Flattery in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, both on Saturday. Sunday, Unique Bella tries two turns for the first time in the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes for three-year-old fillies at one mile.Ike Walker sticks out like a sore thumb in the Palos Verdes, because on form, he doesn’t seem to fit. The five-year-old Bellamy Road gelding was claimed for $50,000 last out when he finished third on a wet/fast track at a mile Jan. 1. Prior to that, his previous 12 starts were all a mile or longer.“The reason we nominated and are running is because we’ve been entering him in other races and they didn’t go,” Hollendorfer said. “I don’t just want to just keep sitting on him. I didn’t have a race picked out for him at Golden Gate, and we couldn’t get in here.“We heard the Palos Verdes was going to come up short so we nominated and decided to run.“It’s probably a bad spot, but if you just keep training them, they can get hurt.”As to Sheer Flattery, who won a maiden allowance race by a nose on a sloppy track Dec. 31, Hollendorfer said, “We think he’s been training well and if he can transfer the race he ran last time to this one, he should have a fairly good chance.”The Palos Verdes, race three: Ike Walker, Flavien Prat, 8-1; Distinctive B, Tyler Baze, 7-2; St. Joe Bay, Kent Desormeaux, 8-5; Ocho Ocho Ocho, Santiago Gonzalez, 7-2; and Moe Candy, Victor Espinoza, 2-1. JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won Tyler Baze972119822%49%$903,417 Norberto Arroyo, Jr.6495414%28%$458,830 Santiago Gonzalez5168612%39%$264,716 Kent Desormeaux651410722%48%$913,683 Bob Baffert2953517%45%$411,316 TrainerMts1st2nd3rdWin%ITM%Money Won O’NEILL HAS THREE FOR THE MONEY IN ROBERT B. LEWISWith three horses entered, Doug O’Neill has 60 percent in a field of five for Saturday’s Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes for three-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, but it’s not a personal record for the trainer, who won the Kentucky Derby twice in the last four years, with I’ll Have Another in 2012 and last year with champion two-year-old male of 2015 Nyquist.“I remember having three in the Malibu in 2004 when Lava Man ran second (to Rock Hard Ten),” O’Neill said between intermittent rain drops that were not enough to cancel training Friday morning.O’Neill also sent out Harvard Avenue to finish second and Perfect Moon to run third behind Rock Hard Ten, but accounted for only 30 percent of the field as there were 10 starters.O’Neill has Oak Tree Juvenile winner Dangerfield, the maiden Irap, and Cecil B. DeMille winner Term of Art going in the Lewis, which offers 17 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, 10 to the winner.“The pressure’s on,” O’Neill said with a chuckle, alluding to his Lewis majority. “Seriously, all three are doing well. They have the pedigree, they have the class, they’ve got the stride. They’ve all showed glimpses of being that kind of horse, so we’re optimistic.’The field for the Lewis, which goes as the second event on a nine-race card that starts at 12:30 p.m.: Royal Mo, Victor Espinoza, 5-2; Irap, Mario Gutierrez, 3-1; Dangerfield, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2; Term of Art, Tyler Baze, 9-2; and Sheer Flattery, Mike Smith, 2-1. Rafael Bejarano7912101615%48%$740,768 Peter Eurton2373030%43%$324,340 Joseph Talamo60651110%37%$247,090 Philip D’Amato3584623%51%$563,575 William Spawr1360246%62%$172,461 J. Keith Desormeaux1972437%68%$406,275 Luis Contreras58681710%53%$316,054 DISTANCE NO PROBLEM FOR TEXAS RYANOTexas Ryano has a win and a second at a mile and a quarter on turf at Santa Anita.Jockey Joe Talamo hopes the horse’s fancy for those conditions is in tact for Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 San Marcos Stakes for four-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf.“He kind of got backed up in his training with all the rain, like everyone else, but he’s been working very good and the distance is good for him, although to me, he’s a true mile and a half horse,” said Talamo, who has ridden the six-year-old Curlin horse eight times, winning twice, including the Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup last out on Nov. 25.“If you look at his races at a mile and an eighth and a mile and a quarter, he kind of comes running, but the farther the better with him,” Talamo said. “He’s doing well enough where he can try and run ’em down.”Trained by Carla Gaines for owner/breeder Warren Williamson, Texas Ryano boasts a 5-3-3 record from 18 starts with earnings of $438,355.The San Marcos, the last of nine races: A Red Tie Day, Corey Nakatani, 15-1; Flamboyant, Brice Blanc, 4-1; Itsinthepost, Tyler Baze, 12-1; Blue Tone, Martin Garcia, 12-1; Texas Ryano, Joe Talamo, 3-1; Power Ped, Stewart Elliott, 20-1; Perfectly Majestic, Kent Desormeaux, 10-1; Isotherm, Flavien Prat, 6-1; Hi Happy, Altair Dominguez, 10-1; Twentytwentyvision, Mike Smith, 6-1; and Frank Conversation, Mario Gutierrez, 6-1.Gustnado, Conquest Daddyo and Some in Tieme were scratched. UNIQUE BELLA ODDS-ON FOR SUNDAY’S LAS VIRGENESO’NEILL HOPES TO ‘PASS GO’ WITH LEWIS MONOPOLYBUSY WEEKEND AS USUAL FOR TEAM HOLLENDORFERTEXAS RYANO SHOULD COME RUNNING IN SAN MARCOS Peter Miller451113624%67%$666,510 John Sadler2355622%70%$273,824last_img read more

first_imgMedupi Shabangu is only the third South African in 14 years to receive the prestigious award. (Image: Medupi Shabangu) A South African researcher, one of five scholars from Africa, has been awarded a place in the African Wildlife Foundation’s (AWF) 2010/11 Charlotte Conservation Fellows Programme. Medupi Shabangu, who is working on a master’s degree in Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, is also one of only three South Africans who have been selected for the programme since its inception in 1996.According to the AWF, each of the five Fellows was selected because of their achievements and exceptional dedication to conservation in Africa.“The programme is doing a good work in Africa to create a fund for African scholars who can become future leaders in conservation enterprises on the continent,” says Shabangu.The Charlotte Conservation Fellows ProgrammeThe programme was established in memory of the American philanthropist and conservationist, Charlotte Kidder Ramsay, who passed away in 1995.The Charlotte Conservation Fellows Programme has played an important role in advancing conservation on the African continent. With upcoming local researchers able to continue their master’s and doctoral research studies in conservation-related fields, Africa is able to expand its skills base of professionals and institutions. In doing so, the continent is better equipped to look after and manage its precious wildlife resources.Through the programme, researchers have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of conservation, improve their qualifications, upgrade their skills and keep up to date with new information and technology related to natural resource management.The AWF supports between three and six Charlotte Fellows every year with scholarships of up to $25 000 (R170 612). The programme has been running for 14 years and to date some 50 students from East, West, Central and Southern Africa have received assistance for their graduate degrees in biology, conservation economics, enterprise development and community conservation.South Africa’s Charlotte FellowMedupi Shabangu says it is a great honour to be selected. “I feel privileged to be counted as one of the Charlotte Fellows on the African continent. This will remain an experience I cherish for the rest of my life,” he says.The work that earned him a Charlotte Fellowship involves investigation into the potential of “transformative community conservation” in the Land Reform and Land Restitution programme in the Kruger National Park (KNP).Shabangu’s research explores some of the most difficult issues in land reform. It looks at both the theoretical and practical ways to reconcile conservation and restoration of land rights to communities who were dispossessed of their land rights in the KNP.According to the Land Research and Action Network (LRAN), land in South Africa is a very complex subject and is one of the country’s most pressing developmental and political issues.Land reform can make a big difference to the lives of the rural poor in terms of income, and is a logical starting point for the redress of past imbalances and inequality. Land reform is also seen as a central component for economic growth in rural areas in particular.Shabangu’s research sets out to test whether restitution claims are a threat to biodiversity conservation, or vice versa. He admits that this is tricky as there are no easy solutions to issues of transformation in South Africa, land reform, conservation, community involvement, rural development and community-based natural resource management.He says it is important to help communities who have lodged claims on land which was historically part of the KNP to effectively manage conservation-based projects.“It is a noble intention to correct the wrongs of the past, but this has to be done sustainably,” says Shabangu.It is important to preserve the KNP, which is not only an important tourism landmark in South Africa, but also a revenue-generator for the economy and is part of the country’s heritage.“We have to strike a balance between conservation, economics and land issues.”His goal is to help communities realise how they can be empowered through sustainable use of natural resources and conservation. “This can help our rural communities leverage enormous capital,” he says.In South Africa, alternative models are needed to resolve land claims in protected areas. “Such land claims have the potential to transform ownership patterns of conservation land and create a role for land claimants in conservation and tourism development,” he says.According to Shabangu, there is great potential for rural communities to establish conservation enterprises in the Park as a main source of revenue. This isn’t only limited to tourist lodges, but extends to other supporting enterprises such as cleaning services or landscaping. “There are numerous entrepreneurs out there who can do these things,” he says.There is always the need to evaluate the ecological footprint of any new enterprise in the park and Shabangu says that the balance between development and the conservation values of the KNP must be maintained at all times.“Natural resources can empower communities in South Africa in a big way and I want to help people see our natural heritage as part of their culture and identity.”Shabangu loves his work and sees it as his calling to continue researching and finding solutions to conservation and empowerment of rural communities.A greater focus on conservation in AfricaShabangu is encouraged by the greater interest in conservation on the African continent. “Our natural heritage is God-given and has to be protected by us,” he says.Protecting Africa’s natural resources also has important implications for the way in which the continent and South Africa can be branded as a tourist destination, adds Shabangu.“We have an abundance of natural resources. No other country has similar diversity, but it is up to us to conserve it and use it sustainably,” he says.Africa’s other winnersThe other four Charlotte Fellows recognised for their hard work in conservation are: Susan Siamundele from Zambia; Edward Amum Didigo from southern Sudan; Lawandi Kanembou from Niger; and Florentin Wendkuuni Compaore from Burkina Faso.Their research ranges from environmental risk management and renewable energies to eco-tourism.South Africa’s Dr Hector Daniel Magome was selected as a Charlotte Fellow in 1996/97 and 1998/99, and was abl;r to complete his PhD studies as a result. His career began in 1986 at the Bophuthatswana National Parks Board, where he was the country’s first black ecologist. He worked there for 10 years. Today he is the executive director of conservation services at the South African National Parks authority (SANParks).He also heads up SANParks’ transfrontier conservation initiatives and is vice chair of the World Commission for Protected Areas in Southern Africa.Magome was a pioneer in helping the government work together with local communities to create economic incentives for conservation. He was also instrumental in transforming South Africa’s National Parks Act to include local people in park management.The only other South African recipient of a Charlotte Fellowship in 1998/99, Ulli Unjinee Poonan, completed her Masters in Geography and Environmental Studies at Wits University.She is regarded as a specialist on land restitution issues concerning national parks and trans-boundary conservation. Poonan began her PhD studies at Wits University in 2004, researching the impact of SANParks’ social ecology unit in the KNP.last_img read more

first_img26 January 2016South African music duo Mafikizolo was in the Swiss town of Davos on Saturday night to perform at the gala dinner to mark the closing of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) gathering.Theo Kgosinkwe and Nhlanhla Nciza were invited by the founder and executive chairman of WEF, Klaus Schwab, after he saw their performance at the WEF Africa regional meeting in June 2015, which took place in Cape Town.Arts and culture is a critical vehicle through which the spirit of South Africa’s national brand is conveyed within the country and beyond its borders. As such the role of arts and culture in building national cohesion and the economy is recognised in the National Development Plan.Mafikizolo’s sound is a fusion of Afro-pop, kwela, and marabi mixed with a little trance and house.The group released its debut self-titled album in 1997, followed by Music Revolution in 1999. However, it was the 2013 album, Reunited, that got the South African music industry buzzing. It scooped numerous accolades, including three Metro FM awards, four South African Music Awards (Sama) and two MTV Africa trophies.Watch the video of Happiness, the song that earned Mafikizolo a Best Collaboration Sama.Watch the video of Khona, the song that won four Samas, including Best Selling Full-Track Download.last_img read more