Reminiscing with Linda Norval about Summerhill’s recent past never fails to highlight the changes that have come about since she joined the Stud in 1986, as Linda and her team used to manage an office out of the passage at the Summerhill homestead! She recalls foundation broodmare sires such as Northern Guest and stallions Liloy, Volcanic and Imperial Dilemma who were standing at Summerhill in the early years. Linda, a nurse by profession, and the late Peter Norval (Pete’s father used to manage Hartford Stud for the Ellis family), began married life at Springfield Stud, where Peter was Stud Manager. She left Summerhill in 1992 to travel abroad, returned and spent some time working as marketing manager for the Trappers’ Franchise Group. In 2001 Mick managed to lure her out of Pretoria and back home to Summerhill as Stallion Bookings and Stud Office Manager.
The greatest tribute to the reliance Summerhill and our Stallion owners place on Linda’s little shoulders, rests in the fact that she sold something approaching 1000 Stallion services last season. That’s close to 22% of the national broodmare band, and it’s what we call market penetration ! Little shoulders? We think not !
Linda is the professional, friendly voice on the other end of the phone or email, and takes care of Summerhill’s customers and stallion bookings. She and her team manage the Summerhill website, ensuring our clients, both local and abroad, have access to reports on their bloodstock on a regular basis. The “new look” site has just been launched and is keeping the team very busy, and as Linda says is very much a work in progress. The site is more user- friendly than ever before, is a powerful tool for both clients and the stud, and provides a critical connection for those who are unable to visit Summerhill on a regular basis. This dynamo is also the organizer extraordinaire behind a multitude of functions, including Summerhill’s annual Stallion Day, a director of the KZN Breeders Club and last but not least, mother to Nicola (teaching in the UK) and Grant (studying Civil Engineering).
Posted by Heather Morkel