summerhill sires brochure
summerhill sires brochure

Please click the brochure above to enlarge

Friday afternoon marked the launch of the annual Summerhill Sires brochure, this time the 21st edition. There’ve been a few milestones on the way and they are:

1) This is the 20th edition printed by Pro-Print, whose association with this farm came courtesy of a phenomenal lady, Noreen Walker, who was sadly denied the pleasures of mature age after a valiant battle with cancer.

2) Characteristically, she never left any business unfinished, and when she was first diagnosed, she put us in the hands of Felicity Hayward, whose custodianship of our brochure commenced ten years ago this year, and around which she founded her now famous business, Xpressions.

3) These two ladies set standards in the advertising, reproduction and print trade this country has scarcely known, to the degree that the Summerhill brochure has made the finals for the printing trade on numerous occasions, including, on occasions winning its category for the best trade publication of its kind.

4) Its place as a record of excellence is marked by the requirement that we lodge a copy every year with the South African Stud Book Association (a government body) as well as the National Archives, and its importance to the latter is signified by the fact that in one errant year, when we omitted to send them one, we received a legal demand! We haven’t failed since.

5) Its place in the world of bloodstock publications is evident today, by the fact that it reaches just about every worthwhile publishing house in the world, and it’s been hailed as essential reading by their eminences, Coolmore and Darley, producers of the other two major publications of this kind. The greatest salutations to the content of the Sires brochure lies in its occasional plageriasations that we “find” in other people’s publications, though we have to confess that from time to time, we find inspiration in the genius of their’s as well!

6) While we’re not entirely sure where we sit in the world of stallion brochures, it’s a staggering compliment to ours, that more than once, Coolmore’s Magnier family have recognised it as the “best”, particularly given the fact that Coolmore was the original torch-bearer. It was the standards set by their remarkable man, Richard Henry, that lead to the spectacular publications that we see these days from Darley ourselves and a spectacular array of these documents you find across the length and breadth of the bloodstock world.

7) It’s a little known fact, but we need to pay special tribute to Xpressions today. Not only for their creative geniuses, but also for the fact that they manage the Summerhill blog, specifically Michael Nefdt, who has taken blogging in the bloodstock world to an unprecedented level.

8) The extent to which they’ve become a part of our operation and our right arm in the big city on the Indian Ocean is reflected in the notion that at the farm, they’re regarded as “Summerhillees”. For all of you when we get back from the National Racing Awards next week.

9) As we write, a delegation of some of the Summerhill team leave for Johannesburg for the official launch of the brochure, and of course to attend Racing’s Oscars on Thursday evening. More on that later in the week. 

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