Pat Goss, Cheryl Goss and Micj Goss - Bryan and Erica Goss Memorial Theatre and Hall of Fame
Pat Goss, Cheryl Goss and Micj Goss - Bryan and Erica Goss Memorial Theatre and Hall of Fame

Pat Goss with Cheryl and Mick Goss at the official inauguration of the

Bryan and Erica Goss Memorial Theatre and Hall of Fame

(Photo : Felicity Hayward)



The opening day of our Winter School was big enough in itself, for its historic value. It was a sentimental moment for us, because it marked the official inauguration of the Bryan and Erica Goss Memorial Theatre and Hall of Fame, which Mick’s brother, Pat presided over. As both brothers said in their short addresses, the fruits of their parent’s labours could not have been better employed than by contributing towards this noble cause.

The inaugural lecture on Entrepreneurship and Family Business was delivered by Professor Justin Craig of Bond University in Australia. Not only is this a man who uniquely touches upon the things that affect most people’s business lives, but he is one of only a handful of authorities on the subject, and by the time his hour was up, we knew why. He’ll be back, and there is no-one outside of a multi-national who can afford to miss it.

Justin was followed by Mike de Kock and a panel headed by Dr. John McVeigh; Judge Alan Magid; past Jockey Club Chairman, Ronnie Napier and Jehan Malherbe. This was a rare opportunity to hear a rare man sharing his secrets, and the questions came thick and fast, overrunning his time by some measure. Mike shared with us all the things that’ve turned him into one of the most recognisable figures in international racing, as well as a comparison of his best horses, and what sparks their buying initiatives for their raids on the international circuits.He pointed to the differences between the styles of Ipi Tombe and his latest star, Igugu, whom he feels incidentally, he hasn’t yet quite got to the bottom of. The reason? He hasn’t had to, as she’s done it all herself, and he feels that she’ll not only make the normal weight-for-age improvement as she grows older, but there’s more where she comes from already.

Professor Brian Kantor was next up, and he demonstrated, as he has done so many times, why he became Professor Emeritus at Cape Town University’s Business School. A wonderfully vital personality with an infectious understanding of the markets, he took us through a range of topics from investments, the money markets, the world economy and what the likely scenarios were with the sovereign failures in Europe, and the local economy’s prospects for the year ahead. Those things can be a little mundane to the man in the street, but this Professor has mastered the art of entertainment, and he’ll be back to delight us again in the year ahead.

Jehan Malherbe pointed to the challenges which owners and breeders face in the present market, the latter in particular with the substantial sums they paid in service fees in the 2008 season, which has meant the sale of considerable numbers of horses this year at a loss on their production costs.  He did mention though, that this was a time of opportunity, as service fees had rationalised themselves substantially. The debate then centred on the fact that the UK and Ireland, Europe and America, had cut their foal crops by something approaching 33%, and that being the case, those with the foresight to cover their mares, would have the stock to replenish the world’s thoroughbred reserves in 2014.

Altus Joubert Senior Counsel is an incomparable speaker on a number of topics, but the one that animates him is the thoroughbred, and his story on the history of the South African racehorse before the Second World War, was quite riveting. We’d had a bit of a conscience, asking a man who makes his living from the time he spends with clients in his chambers, to prepare for a school of this sort, but all signs of conscience dissipated when we saw the pleasure he had in delivering this story. Like those that went before him, he promised to provide us with the rest of the story next time around, which would take us from those days to this. Let’s not forget though, that our forebears like Sir Abe Bailey (whose daughter married Winston Churchill’s son), tampered at one time with Candlemas, whose influence on the breed extends to the likes of Mr Prospector and Seattle Slew; that old man Henry Nourse ran the biggest stud in the world in the early 1900’s, and that the Birch Bros., the most successful of all South African Breeders, were born in this era as well.

We’ll give you the comments of our attendees tomorrow - you’ll know then, what you missed.