Nico Kritsiotis interviews Garth Puller and Mthokozisi Sithole
(Photos : Leigh Willson)
MTHOKOZISI “SMALL BOY” SITHOLE
“Rider Of The Gallops”
If you’re an outsider looking in, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ready To Run gallops are about horses. And for the most part, you’d be right. But that would be ignoring the role our people play. There’s not a soul on Summerhill that doesn’t have a hand in it, and on the day, they’re all on deck; there’s no sale in the world that demands more, particularly when you’re hosting it on your farm.
In the end though, it’s about the horses and the way they perform, and the performance is a product not only of the horses’ talent, but of the skills of the little man on top. That’s why we started a new tradition last year, honouring the best rider of the day. Unsurprisingly, the accolade went the way of our senior educator in 2011, John Motaung, who’d enjoyed two scholarships to the United States prior to his “championship”.
We asked a man whom Graeme Hawkins described at Thursday evening’s gala dinner as the most gifted and thoroughly knowledgeable horseman he knew, to be our judge. Garth Puller, genius that he is, needs no introduction. He’s exactly what Graeme Hawkins said he is. And this year, he chose Mthokozisi “Small Boy” Sithole as his Rider of the Gallops, for his style, his finesse and his “oneness” with his mount. No small compliment, coming from whence it did.
Well done Small - you’re a big boy, today.
Emperors Palace Ready To Run Cup • Saturday 3rd November
Lots 1-75 • Friday 2nd November 17h00
Lots 76-202 • Sunday 4th November 14h00