Summerhill Stud - Equus Champion Breeder 2005 - 2012
(Image : Summerhill Archives)
SOUTH AFRICAN BREEDERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1 August 2011 - 31 July 2012
Summerhill Stud CEOThe Jockey’s Championship may still be hanging on a thread, but the Breeders’ version is done and dusted. Saturday’s racing finally put paid to any sniff any pretenders may have had to the crown, and so, at last, we can tell the printers to proceed with the 30th edition of the “Summerhill Sires,” including all references to “EIGHT CONSECUTIVE BREEDERS TITLES”.
There was a point in May, when Summerhill lagged Klawervlei by some R400,000, that we looked like “toast”, particularly considering that we were at a distinct disadvantage in terms of numbers, and there were more to come: the impis were lining up in waves!
It is a tribute to one of the best teams in the world, their sacrifices and their dedication, that the margin in the end will be close to R1,5 million in our favour. It is a tribute to those who support us, to the loyalties of those who keep their horses with us, who buy our stock at the sales, to those that train and ride them, and to our fans in the stands.
It is a salute to the uncertainties of the game, to the adage that inspires the belief that kids from the “sticks”, like us, can prevail against the odds. That you don’t have to own a fortune in order to know the top of the mountain. That hard work, obsession and the sheer love of the game can take you to new worlds of conquest. That “eight” is a brand new number in the modern world of breeding, and that it’s attainable by anyone with the will and the resolve to make it happen.
Yet in the end, it will always be a tribute to our horses. Mankind would do well to recall that our histories were written on the backs of these noble creatures in warfare, on the roads, in the workplace, on the sports fields. It is no different at Summerhill.
This is an enterprise unlike most others of its kind, built solely on the skills of its people and the achievements of its horses. It has given birth not only to the home of the champions, but to a world-class hotel, to the continent’s second largest equine insurer, to an elite horsefeed business and to the only school of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
To those of you who’ve made it happen, and to those that fought the good fight, thank you.