Children on their way to the Summerhill Primary School…
(Image : Leigh Willson / Summerhill Stud)
“…we wouldn’t swop it for the world.”
There is no end to this team’s energy. The consultative panel which plans the matings for the resident mares, has been hard at it for the past few days, sizing up every individual, beavering through their previous produce records, consulting those who’ve worked with the progeny at the races, and by mid-July we will have formulated our ideas finally. It’s a long, involved process, but the results are there to see every day, on the racecourses of South Africa and beyond.
Linda Norval and her team are heavily engaged in preparations for the Vodacom Durban July and Investec Stallion Day, on the latter of which, Summerhill will be playing host to some 600 guests from close to twenty different countries. Stallion Day has cemented itself in the racing calendar as “its biggest day out”, but this year is special, as it marks the formal opening of the Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence by the Premier of KZN, Dr Zweli Mkhize, and it also marks the awarding to him and one of South Africa’s most famous sons, conservationist Dr Ian Player, of an Ingwazi (Warrior’s) Award by the Land of Legends, a compendium of the best hospitality and crafts properties in the province.
Up on the hill, alongside the Giant’s Castle road, the boss, when he can escape from the broodmare mating panel, is heads down with the new 2011/12 Sires brochure, conjuring the propaganda and recalling stories as fast as his mind can work. A lot of this stuff is with our originators and designers already, and you can look forward to another bumper issue. Last week we published the first excerpt from the new brochure, a series which has seen big spikes in our web visits each year.
Up at the stallion barn, Greg Muir’s gang are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to get the new horses prepared for Stallion Day. We have another “giant” of the turf entering quarantine shortly and about whom we can say nothing until this week’s press release meanwhile, in the Johannesburg quarantine, there are six youngsters recently purchased in Australia, sons and daughters of some of the most famous stallions in the world. They won’t know themselves when they get to Summerhill - they’ve never seen pasture like this in their lives. Just ask Igugu and Hollywoodboulevard.
It’s busy up here, as it always is, but we wouldn’t swop it for the world.
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