al maktoum school of management excellence
al maktoum school of management excellence

Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence Theatre

(Photo : Leigh Willson) 


Continuing the extracts from the Summerhill Sires Brochure for 2010/2011. Are you on the mailing list? If not then please let us have your details and we’ll gladly ensure you get a personal copy when it’s published on the 1st August.

A British Olympic rider staying at Hartford House, recently witnessed a passing string of Thoroughbreds on the Imperial Despatch track; he was at once mesmerised. Here was a gallery of the old masters, as glorious a gathering of the good Lord’s finest creatures as he’d witnessed. It was their Zulu riders though, that really beguiled him, as much at one with the horses as he’d known.

When he enquired of the lead rider where he’d learned his trade, the response was quick. “I was born to ride horses, sir.” He might’ve been talking for his fifteen colleagues as well. You never want to underestimate the Zulus. Our British forebears made that mistake at the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879, and it’s never been forgotten. There is only one nation on earth, whose name is known to every airline pilot on the planet : “Z” for Zulu. And it’s not only because they’re great horsemen.

It’s a little known fact that the Hong Kong jockeys title, the most sought after in the world, has been in South African hands for 17 of the past 18 years. Yes Sir, we were born to ride horses. There’s more to this pony than a single trick of rugby players, cricketers and shopkeepers.

It’s also a little known fact that no country of South Africa’s size, has produced so many world class businesses. By a country mile. There’s something extraordinary about the history of this paradoxical land of creativity, conflict and enterprise, that lifts us as a nation. The 2010 Fifa World Cup tells us that’s a fair statement, and if you need any more convincing, look at what Investec have done for England’s greatest horserace.

At Summerhill, whatever else they may be, our people are paragons of enthusiasm, good humour and curiosity, Renaissance people in an era that needs them. Every farm has a personality, but very few get to spell it with a capital “P”, and that’s the reason we’ve made the investment in the educational advancement of those who make their crusts here.

There are already three learning institutions at Summerhill. A créche, a preparatory school, and a life skills mentoring class. The “prep”, with just 65 pupils, has fashioned a mayor and two junior international athletes in recent times. The mentoring class has seen the award of 36 overseas scholarships to people who’d never ventured too far from the boundaries of Mooi River in their lives. These are the “home runs” that get us up in the mornings.

And that’s what’s prompted the development of our School of Management Excellence. Its erection honours the contribution to the South African sport of racing in general, and to the people of Summerhill in particular, of the Gainsborough Stud of the late Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum. As the first institution of its kind in the southern hemisphere, its erection fills a void in the needs of an industry involving billions of dollars in investment, but woefully short on the educational opportunities this facility will deliver.

While it’s still just a “work-in-progress”, a visit to the Summerhill website ( will confirm what we think you’ve known for a long time. At Summerhill, we don’t do things in half measures.”

summerhill stud south africa
summerhill stud south africa

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