Speaking of the boss, Mick Goss was a guest speaker this weekend at South African Big Business’ biggest (and most worthwhile) annual bash, the Moneyweb Ibandla, held at Zimbali Lodge on the idyllic KZN North Coast. The province is so beautiful (not to mention the weather) at this time of the year, and even the “Capies” didn’t want to go home.
Convened by Alec Hogg and his remarkable team at Moneyweb, a big percentage of the nation’s biggest hitters were in attendance, and the speeches, all conducted under Chatham House conditions (what goes on tour, stays on tour), were reportedly the most poignant pointers to the present state of the nation, imaginable.
Mick’s topic? With their Sheikhdom the world’s hottest spot on the planet right now, the Maktoum’s family business, Dubai, is obviously on many people’s lips, and Mick was asked, as he often is at racing conferences around the world, to talk about Summerhill’s connections with the family, dating back to 1991.
Arguably one of the most treasured relationships in Thoroughbred racing, the Maktoum presence at Summerhill has not only contributed significantly to the upliftment of our people and the training (through our international scholarships) of many of our management and executive teams, but without their help (through the stallions) during South Africa’s difficult years, Summerhill would’ve been unlikely beneficiaries of a third consecutive Breeder’s Championship in 2007. And yet, the relationship, which at one time must’ve been lopsided by the fact that we needed them far more than they needed us, is at least appreciated in Dubai.
When Sheikh Mohammed, during his recent visit to Summerhill, remarked that Allah must’ve sent him Mike de Kock and the Summerhill team, Mick Goss was quick to respond that both he and Mike de Kock had experienced considerable difficulty persuading even their own mothers of the fact!!