machiavellian stallionsSummerhill’s three sons of Machiavellian
(Nicholas Goss)


The Summerhill Sires Brochure 2008/2009 will be on the streets this week. If you’re not on our mailing list already, please let us know at to ensure that you get  your personal copy. Meanwhile, we follow with an excerpt on the Machiavellian influence from the brochure entitled “The Machiavellian Style”.

“When General Louis Botha, most feared of the Boer generals, took command of his nation’s troops at the foot of Summerhill in November 1899, he knew what he was in for. Britain already claimed dominion over two thirds of the earth’s surface, and here was a man about to engage the most powerful army in creation.

But like another famous freedom fighter, Niccolo Machiavelli, he had a decisive way with battles. He knew how cavalry, skillfully deployed, could turn the tide. As a farmer, he also knew the value of breeding.

Which brings us to the point. Today’s cavalry may well compete on more peaceful fields, but the contest is just as fierce, and the importance of breeding has never been more critical.

In our own preparations for battle, we’ve armed ourselves with every tool at our disposal. One of our discoveries was the early promise of Machiavellian as a sire of sires.

Stallions like Street Cry and Medicean, who’ve set the Atlantic alight on both sides of the pond. And then there’s Kahal, who’s sewing his own breeze, and reaping the whirlwind right here at Summerhill.

The racing battlefields are awash with the blood of Northern Dancer, and one of our principal challenges is to find an antidote to staunch the flow. For reasons which become obvious when you visit us at, there are irresistible affinities in the Machiavellian alliance, just as there are with Danehill.

And if you delve even deeper, you’ll uncover our complete battle plan, incorporating Machiavellian, Danehill and Northern Dancer.

The best laid plans though, would be fraught if they lacked the “bottle” to produce the footsoldiers to carry the day. And therein lies the tale. The “Machiavellians” don’t only have the blood, they’re the physical types to complement the needs of most of the mothers of the tribe.

So the arrival at Summerhill of Kahal, Mullins Bay and Hobb Alwahtan was no coincidence. They’re as accomplished and as well bred as the best of their sire’s sons. And like the strategies of General Botha, they’re a critical part of the grand plan.

In preparing themselves for the battles of the turf, there are those that like to leave it to luck, on the track or in the breeding shed. And then there are those that take charge of their outcomes, and leave a lasting impression on their finances, and on the breed.

By starting right here. At the end of the day, history rarely remembers who came second.

P.S. General Botha was a Natal “boytjie,” and today he’d have been as vociferous a “Shark” as any of us. He assumed his command on Ntaba Nqumo at the foot of our farm, and earned his fame as the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa. He was also a founder member of the greatest dairy business in the land.

Right here, at Summerhill