Breeders of Chocolicious, Ian Todd and Keith Russon from Backworth Stud,
with Linda Norval from Summerhill Stud
(Photo : Leigh Willson / Summerhill Stud)
KZN BREEDERS AWARDS 2010
It’s one thing being top dog, it’s another being a big dog. But when you’re both, you need to watch your “p’s” and “q’s”. You see, the old Afrikaans saying “die hoogste boom vang die meeste wind” (otherwise known as the “tall poppy” syndrome), is alive and well, and living in South Africa, much as it is elsewhere in the world. So, be mindful when you blow your own trumpet.
That said, the outcomes of last weekend’s KZN Breeders Awards were inescapable and reminded us of the responsibility Summerhill bears towards our region.
Of the 19 prizes given away on the night, 17 fell either to the farm itself or to people or horses with Summerhill connections.
Nine of them were directly awarded and the rest were taken by horses either sired in our stallion barn or by people who learned their trade with us. Three of these were Grade One Winning daughters of Kahal, while Muhtafal and Labeeb accounted for the balance.
The Breeding Achievement of the year was aptly awarded to Connington Stud, whose owners Brendan and Candice Norman both served apprenticeships with us in their formative lives.
There’s an old truism that it’s more rewarding to give than to receive, and we have to say that to see the connections of these horses marching up to the podium on such an auspicious occasion, was fulfilling.
Few people know it, but among their number were some proper survivors, people who’d mortgaged their farms and hence their lives to pay their service fees, or just to stay in the business. And while silverware alone cannot sustain survival, it is the one recognition that maybe, just maybe, the struggle has been worth the trouble and that the light at the end of the tunnel, even in these times, is the sign that we all need to press on.
If you’ll allow us a bit of “back slapping” for a moment, this was a tribute to a policy of “no compromise” on quality, of sound customer relations and world-class service, and of an eye always on the long haul, and not the short buck.
We earlier showcased the awards that came Summerhill’s way : here are those that called our pals to the winners dias :
Outstanding 2 Year Old
Outstanding Sprinter Female
Outstanding Sprinter Male
Outstanding Middle Distance Female
Outstanding 3 Year Old Filly
Outstanding Older Female
Outstanding Older Male