beaulieu college, school of excellence, valerie de clerq and aline de meyer
beaulieu college, school of excellence, valerie de clerq and aline de meyer

Heather Morkel and School of Excellemce students with visiting

Beaulieu College and Belgium student vets Valerie de Clerq and Aline de Meyer

(Photo : Leigh Willson)

“Summerhill has always been high on the

value of training and education…”

Those who follow these columns will know that Summerhill has always been high on the value of training and education of our staff as one of the pillars of our eight year reign at the summit of South Africa’s breeding affairs. Every day, when we get to work, we realise again and again just how valuable our investment in the growth of our people’s skills and talents is, not only for what they might contribute professionally down the road, but as a means of inculcating in them the same passion and obsession in the horse game which any visitor to Summerhill experiences.

This week, our students at the School of Excellence were joined by nine others from Johannesburg’s posh Beaulieu College, as well as two young vet students from Belguim, Valerie de Clerq and Aline de Meyer, who came courtesy of old supporters of the stud and patrons of Hartford House, Stephan and Anne Colle.

They have arrived bang in the middle of the foaling and covering seasons, and just as the 120 entries for the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale in November were knuckling down to some proper work. The “chopper pilots” who ride these youngsters have got their tails right up in the air at the moment, remembering that this year alone their graduates celebrated a J&B Met (Gr.1) victory (Igugu) and again last weekend, they were reminded of the impact of their work when Ice Axe plundered Mauritius’ Maiden Cup (Gr.1) and Winning Leap galloped away with the dosh in Gauteng’s top-liner, returning to the form that garnered the Gold Bowl (Gr.2) for him two seasons back.

No doubt, they’ll also have been fascinated by the preparations for a private racemeeting. Think about this, no hotel in the world is able to match a private race meeting with its own horses, jockeys, trainers, bookmakers, a commentator and a jolly good time!

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