One of racing’s most colourful characters, George Rowles, is an institution among breeders and racing folk alike. His connection with horses goes back to the days when, as a ten year old, he led his trainer-father’s horses around the parade ring at Clairwood barefoot. The Rowles were none-to-well-heeled in those days, and George and his brother John took great pleasure in accompanying their father to the races, saddling the horses, and leading them in the ring.

Of course today, John is one of England’s landed gentry, while George has been one of the province’s leading property developers. From his Hillcrest headquarters, he trained many a champion in his colours, mainly home-breds from his famous Ivanhoe nursery, which is located in one of the most beautiful valleys in the Nottingham Road district.

George is an old mate of this farm, a strong patron of Vuma Feeds, and a loyal supporter of our stallions, mainly those belonging to the Maktoum family. He has his very own theories about how to breed a racehorse, and he sticks to them as rigidly as a bar of angle iron, and that’s probably one of the cardinal reasons for his great success as an owner/breeder.

This morning, we played host to him when he came to pay his annual booking fees for the stallions, and he’s seen here proclaiming “I’m out”, as he parted with his cheque. What would this game be without characters like George?!