Professor Justin Craig
Professor Justin Craig

Professor Justin Craig - Entrepreneurship and Famiy Business

(Photo : Felicity Hayward)


4 - 6 July 2011

Shirley Kantor, Masters Degree in Fine Art (UCT)

Having had no previous knowledge of horse husbandry and the racing world, it’s been a mind opening experience. The energy, enthusiasm and commitment of Mick and the generosity of his family and staff will not be forgotten. Of special interest to me were the talks given by John McVeigh in realising the similarities between horses and humans and how crucial nutrition and happiness is to our health. In humility, I thank you for everything. Be blessed.

Xavier Bozo, Owner and Breeder (France) now in South Africa

Mick and Cheryl must be very, very proud of what they have achieved with the new school. I have never seen such an opportunity presented (even in France) and most European countries. It is very useful for most of the breeders and the range of discussions was so varied - Business, horse husbandry, veterinary and so much other. I have enjoyed the three days immensely and will be back (during the French summertime). I would encourage other breeders from foreign countries to use this opportunity to spend time in this beautiful part of the country. Thank you, Mick, Cheryl and the Summerhill team for all the work undertaken to achieve this. I am very proud to be a French South African!

Professor Brian Kantor, Economist (Investec)

I certainly hope it is a programme that you will be encouraged to repeat. It seems to me to offer a serious investor in horses a wonderful opportunity to gain insight and information of relevance to them. It has been my pleasure to take part and I hope I’ve contributed to a successful programme.  Having spent a few days here, I have been pleased to be a part of it. I do hope the organisers are encouraged to repeat the exercise and that its good reputation will spread so that it becomes an event that all the serious horsey types will be obliged to attend. Mickey Goss’s enthusiasm and commitment is inspirational. Keep it up.

Gayle Flanegan, Nooitgedacht Breeder

I feel so privileged to be a part of this and learned so much. I liked the fact that the speakers were mixed business and horses. I found it so worthwhile that the issues facing the Thoroughbred industry filter down to us and so all talks were relative to our business. I will definitely be here again next year. Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn so much and from the best.

Debbie Odell, Nutritionist, Bovasol

I feel very privileged to have been invited. I think it is great for this community to have the opportunity to see this calibre of speakers so right on our doorstep. I think the folks that chose not to come have done themselves a disservice. Thank you to Mick and Heather for putting this together. I will be back next year!

The Count of Konigsberg, of Wood-Moore Manor Stud, Mooi River

I think it’s a fantastic facility and the current Winter School curriculum has been very much appreciated in that it covers a wide spectrum of interest to all stake holders in this industry. The fact that captains of industries from bankers to professors of veterinary science, international financial gurus has provided a platform of great significance to both the arm chair race horse owner and breeder who has bought into this dynamic industry and made it a reality. It has been such a positive week and I wish that more breeders and race horse owners had been present. I would hope that Mickey Goss would make this an annual winter school and I look forward to being part of any future endeavours.

Rhonda Headon, Dubai

What a fantastic facility and venue. Although I only attended one day, I am sorry that I missed the other two days. I found the lectures very informative and interesting. I did not realise that there were so many aspects to the South African Breeding industry.

Alec Hogg, Graceland Farm

In this pressurised world, taking time away from one’s commitments is never easy. So even with the appealing line-up, coming to the conference was a bit of a gamble. It paid off handsomely. There was not a single moment of boredom in three full days, and my understanding and appreciation of our industry was raised far beyond anything that could have been expected. The interactive format complemented the leaders who shared their insights so generously. This conference will be written in concrete into my future diaries. It should also be in yours.

Denis Evans, Owner/Breeder (Singapore)

I think the long standing aspects of the conference have been the immediate success of a hugely risky business. I would think the success of the lectures has been the variation of subject and the depth of knowledge exhibited by the talkers. The close interaction between the talkers and the “pupils” made the whole experience very informative and enjoyable.

Ronnie Napier, Webber Wentzel

Well done for organizing a stimulating and thought provoking first lecture programme at the Al Maktoum School of Excellence. I certainly learnt a great deal so I am confident that the students will have found the programme wide ranging and helpful. The challenge will be to come up with an even better programme for 2012.

Judge Alan Magid

As I said in winding up the Winter School, I believe that this year set such a high standard that it will really be a very difficult act to follow. Some of the lectures bore titles which might at first sight have created the impression that they would be rather boring; but all the talks were presented with such verve, passion and enthusiasm that the interest they aroused gave rise to so much discussion that each session overran its scheduled time. Indeed, it would in my opinion be only the most carping of critics who would find anything to criticise.

Adv Altus Joubert

I enjoyed the Winter School immensely. There was a good spread of topics and the lecturers were out of the top drawer. This is a fantastic basis to continue building on. Well done.

Claire Hoatson, Normandien Farms (Pty) Ltd

Of particular interest to me was Justin Craig’s talk. Our family is in business together and over the years I have looked for authorities in this field with little success. Although we have been fortunate in family dynamics thus far, one wants to avoid any future pitfalls and put the necessary measures in place… Having come from a corporate banking background, I found the economics presentation by Prof Kantor thoroughly informative - what a knowledgeable and interesting man he is!

A most enjoyable and informative day - thank you to all those involved!

Catherine Hartley, Marketing and Brand Manager, Vumafeeds

It was an inspiring and motivating two days and well worth the time and two days leave to attend. I am sure that it will grow from strength to strength and be over-subscribed at every session, given the calibre of speakers and wide range of industry-related topics.