When the venerable John Moor summoned the farmers of our neighbourhood to Hartford in 1899, he laid down the markers for generations to come. Among that August assembly were his brother, Sir Frederick, the encumbent Prime Minister of the Colony; General Louis Botha, future Prime Minister of South Africa, and Summerhill's Col. George Richards, member of parliament. As they were wont to do, they were here to make history with the formation of "NCD", history's most storied dairy concern and the precursor to the fabled Eskort Bacon Factory. These boys meant business, and business is what they did.
When the Ellis family established their all-conquering private racing operation on the same patch of turf in the 1940s, it was clear they were not only about hotels and "Corobrik", but they'd also smelt "blood". From a handful of mares, they sent forth from the farm the winners of every big race on the South African calendar, the J&B Met excepted.
Imagine our trepidation then, when we inherited the responsibility of this legacy through a property "swop" in June 1989. Old man Ellis did little to lessen the burden of it all when he handed over the keys a few paces from Verrocchio's masterpiece in the Hartford garden: "Make us proud, young man" was all his emotions would allow, knowing the blast he'd lived in the midst of such triumphs. As he gazes down from his heavenly perch, we'd like to think the old boy might approve of what's happened since he wiped away those tears in the rose garden. Three J&B Mets later, and a good run at the head of the nation's breeding affairs, and we'd like to think we've made good on the promise we pledged on that cool winter's day.
Board of Directors / Eskort Bacon Factory (p)