The day dawned fresh and clear on Sunday, and the guests arrived to a snow-bedecked Drakensberg as they walked up to the new venue located in a nomadic tent alongside the stallion barn. The remarkable work of the Summerhill team was much in evidence with a festival atmosphere, a feature of this year’s venue being that our guests were able to “mix it” with the stallions in their own home quarters. The popularity of this party, now firmly established as the best in racing, was reflected in the 650 plus attendees. Guests came from across the world, 26 Australians, 12 Dubains, the committee of the Singapore Turf Club, 20 odd from the UK and a dozen from the USA.
The party were treated to some spectacular music, an impromptu show from the celebrated American comedian, Lonni Shorr who was “chain-ganged” into performing for us by Robert Muir, and to a magnificent movie on the stallions. Graham Hawkins was at his peerless best when it came to the Stallion services auction, and the prices bid for the services on offer reflect the respect the South African breeding community has developed for the Summerhill stallions. They were responsible for every one of the racehorses that contributed to Summerhill’s present leadership on the Breeders’ log, where their earnings are now approaching R14 million.
It was announced during the course of the proceedings that both Kahal and Muhtafal are already officially closed unless you have a mare with the credentials of the Queen of England, or alternately you are a breeder with the pedigree of King Letsie III of Lesotho, and bidders were quick to realize this might be their only throw of the dice. In the end, Kahal topped the auction with a service going at R90 000, and Muhtafal at R50 000.
It was announced at inception that for the first time in many years, the Summerhill stallions were all approaching capacity with a full two months to the breeding season. In the end, all the stallions made more than their advertised service fees, and this again illustrates the great value there is in a philosophy that is aimed at ensuring breeders get real value for their bucks.
Stallion Advertised Fee Auction Price Buyer
Albarahin R10 000 R13 000 Albert Rapp
Cataloochee R20 000 R20 000 Mili Miliotis
Hobb Alwahtan R15 000 R23 000 Chips Pennells
Kahal R50 000 R90 000 Ashley McNabb/Mili Miliotis
Muhtafal R40 000 R50 000 Lou Steyn
Solskjaer R20 000 R30 000 Albert Rapp
Malhub R20 000 R40 000 Rob Knuppe
Way West R16 000 R20 000 Alan Magid
Slew The Red R10 000 R12 000 Ursula Oberholzer
On hand to announce the formation of the Darley South Africa Trust was Stephen Gill, the personal emissary of the Maktoum family, as well as representatives of the South African Jockeys Academy, and these two very worthy institutions will be the beneficiaries of yesterday’s fundraising. Stephen Gill announced to the meeting the intentions of starting a school along the lines of the Darley Flying Start course, which will be aimed principally at the previously disadvantaged community at management level. The intention is to obtain the accreditation of the Keeneland Association, and the South African Qualifications Authority, so as ensure the school’s credentials are established from the start.