Thabani Nzimande - Best Practical Student Award
Thabani Nzimande - Best Practical Student Award

Thabani Nzimande - National Stud Best Practical Student Award

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

“Opportunity, sooner or later,

comes to all who work and wish.”

Lord Stanley

There was a time, when literacy and learning was the right of the pious and the privileged. We’ve come a long way, and whilst South Africa’s youthful democracy avers that all have the right to an education, training and the transfer of knowledge remains a challenge for the majority of our population.

The School of Management Excellence is an extravagance for a Zulu farm, but Summerhill and the School’s scholarship sponsors, Investec, the Cape Breeders Club, N3 Tolcon and Phumelela, have risen to the call to educate and were vindicated by the success story of one of its graduates this week.

A young man, whose dream was to become a paramedic once he had completed high school, was recruited some five years back by the Pre-training & Sales division at Summerhill Stud, starting out as a stable cleaner. Thabani Nzimande graduated as the top student at the School of Excellence in 2011, and was awarded a scholarship through the Childwick Trust to the English National Stud. To explain the connection, the Trust founder was the late Jim Joel, nephew of the diamond legend, Barney Barnato, and whose racing colours “black, cherry cap” are adorned these days by Mary Slack’s runners.

At the fabled stud in Newmarket, England on Friday, Thabani and fellow South African, Mathew de Kock, graduated from the course with distinctions, and Thabani won the Best Practical Student Award.  Courage, hard work and making the most of every opportunity has earned him a hero’s welcome back in South Africa.

The Winter Workshop, hosted by the School next week (Monday 9th to Wednesday 11th July), promises to be every bit as good, if not better than last year’s Winter School, with a supporting cast of 5 professors, economic and racing gurus, an international equine geneticist, and the country’s leading racing and breeding celebrities among them.

Last year’s inaugural Winter School was a runaway success, and this year’s programme is crammed with “two-year-old” potential. Please click here to get full details of the full panel of lecturers, their topics and the programme right away.

The Memorial Theatre’s capacity is limited though, so if you’re an aspirant attendee, please get in touch with Heather Morkel on, as soon as you can. There is accommodation available at Hartford House, though the organisers can arrange alternatives in the district once Hartford is fully booked. The daily rate includes a luncheon prepared by Eat Out’s Most Popular Restaurant of 2011.

School Of Management Excellence, South Africa
School Of Management Excellence, South Africa

Heather Morkel +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email