Someone out there somewhere, is intent on upsetting the rhythms and routines of Summerhill. We have broad shoulders here, and we know that when you're at the top of the pile, scandal comes with the territory. However, there are those whose politics are such that whatever they can do to disrupt the spirit and direction of this place, they will do it. Ten years at the top, is too long for some people, it seems! In the latest subterfuge, we've heard rumblings going back to the National Two-Year-Old Sale, that Summerhill has been sold, and the buyers range from multi-nationals to the empowerment group that shelled out R1.5 billion to our good friend Mike Rattray for Mala-Mala. This time the news is of an especially virulent strain, having travelled abroad from Europe to the United States, and while we could do with just a fraction of what Mala Mala made, the truth of the matter is that a sale hasn't been discussed with a soul, let alone been the subject of an offer.
This morning's version on the day of the announcement of one of the biggest corporate transactions in South African history, involving the acquisition by Steinhoff of Christo Weise's retail colusses, Pepkor, is that the genius behind the deal, Markus Jooste, has bought Summerhill into a neighbouring bargain. We can only surmise that there is a mischief-maker out there, intent on undermining the things we are and the values we stand for, forgetting that there is much more to the Summerhill story than Breeders' championships. These rumour-mongers should reflect on what this place represents as a bastion of harmony among its people, as a standard-bearer for personal upliftment, as our district's biggest employer in a place that desperately depends upon it, and as the only provider of schooling in equine management excellence on this continent. Would they see it destroyed, you ask?
That said, there is nothing new to these stories: Summerhill has apparently been “bought and sold” a dozen times in our history, without us ever knowing who the buyer or the seller was, so whatever satisifaction the initiator of this latest rumour might've derived from its distribution, he or she may as well know that we're impervious to its effects: this team's been 36 years in the making, and it's not about to trot off into the sunset. Perhaps therein rests the lie.