Muzi Yeni

Muzi Yeni was always the littlest at school. He recalls the teasing this drew while growing up in Clermont township outside Durban. These days, still knee-high to a pony, his tiny frame is a major asset as one of the country’s top jockeys. Learning his craft at the South African Jockey Academy at Summerveld, Yeni became a highly versatile rider, happy to lead from the gates or surge later on.

One of the most active riders on the circuit, by 2010 he was riding over 1 100 races a year and travelling twice a week from his home in Kloof, KwaZulu-Natal. Yeni has been awarded national colours twice, frequently threatened the podium at the Durban July and last year, aged 24, finished a career high of third on the national jockeys’ log. His goal now is to “find that special horse that helps you win the big ones”.

— Ian Macleod

YouTube: Muzi yeni