For a nation whose renown has come from their heroism in battle, it might seem strange that their quaintness is most often the source of Zulu intrigue these days. The Zulus have a saying in their language that goes “Ubuhle bendoda zinkomo zayo”, which means that a man’s attraction is often judged by his cattle. This connection with the stock we raise is as old as mankind himself, and it has endowed our people with an instinctive understanding of Thoroughbreds, remarkable patience and beautiful, sympathetic hands when they’re on board a youngster.
Every year, in the European spring, we send a half dozen or so of our young people abroad to work a season on the Irish, American, and English farms of the Rulers of Dubai, the Sheikhs Maktoum. Those that have worked with them from around the globe will tell you of their competence, their composure and their diligence.
They are admired everywhere for their boldness, their character and of course, for the stories they tell. Zulu legend and custom remember, is in the mouths of its custodians, not in the history books. These are the people that serve our mares, deliver the foals and raise them to maturity. They school the youngsters, prep them for sale and teach them to run. Well, not quite. You don’t have to teach our freshmen to run, but you might well play a part in helping them realize their potential and develop their confidence.
You see, the Thoroughbred has been bred to run. His genealogy is the best recorded history of any species, including mankind’s. For the best part of 300 years, every ancestor of the Thoroughbred has been carefully tabulated and throughout this time it’s been selectively bred for its speed, its courage, stamina and durability, its grace and elegance, and that’s why it’s the noblest of God’s creatures. What during that time have we been selecting for in the evolution of homo sapiens? Probably not much more than fame and fortune, and that’s why so often we are what we are.
The Summerhill-bred is a genetic masterpiece, the product of a painstaking process of identifying the superior genes from the best blood over a period of seven decades. An assembly of these magnificent creatures can be likened to a gallery of the Old Masters. They have the capacity to impress your friends, and in their acceleration, to leave your enemies behind.