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.

stallion day 1stallion day 2stallion day 3stallion day 4cheryl gossCheryl Gossking letsieKing Letsie IIIjudge and brenda magidJudge & Brenda Magidlonni shor and robert muirLonni Shorr with Robert Muirstallion day 6