Extract from 2001 Summerhill Sires Brochure
There has to be something about the lure of the horse game, perhaps intangible, that magnetises us. When it comes to sheer unbridled drama, nothing, but nothing, can touch a big-time Thoroughbred auction. Some of the richest, highest profile exemplars of clout, chutzpa and chic are deposited from far and wide at the Ringside by an armada of smart cars, private aircraft and big jumbos.
Toss in a bit of will-to-win, a dash of Johnnie Walker Black, some good old-fashioned ego and you have the makings of a serious scrummage. Thirty times every hour, major theatrics play out. Dreams are made and dashed, thrilling victories realised, horrible decisions made, strokes of genius exhibited, and costly economic blunders committed. Some actions will change lives.
But think about this; here is an assembly of the noblest of God’s creatures, selected over the centuries for their elegance, their courage, their speed and their grace from the most exacting tabulation of bloodlines anywhere, a collection of genetic masterpieces. The colourful French trainer, Maurice Zilber of Egyptian birth, famed for his handling of the legends Vaguely Noble, Dahlia, Nobiliary, Empery, Youth and Exceller, Pawneese and Allez France for Bunker Hunt and the fabled art dealer Wildenstein, would’ve described them as a gallery of the Great Masters. By birth, of course, he was African and had an appreciation of these things.
Back at Summerhill, this is a serious business; it employs good people, fulfils ambitions and creates opportunities.
Occasionally we’re asked to name the “great ones” of our past, and whilst we’re eternally proud to be associated with them we always say “you’re only as good as your last game”.
Just ask those who bought NHLAVINI, PICK SIX, EMPEROR NAPOLEON, REBEL KING, BOLD ELLINORE, DYNAMITE MIKE, MZWILILI, REGAL RUNNER, PARIS TO PEKING, HAIZI, BHEKINKOSI, VEILED ESSENCE, BAYETE and FANYANA, from this Year’s runners alone, if they’ll be back again. You Bet, Pal, and they’ll tell you they’ve got the “Great One”.
Picture courtesy Heather Morkel