Linda Norval receives the Anita Akal Award from KZN Breeders Chairman, Koos de Klerk
(Photo : KZN Breeders)
KZN BREEDERS AWARDS
17 November 2012
There were many triumphs at the KZN Breeders Awards on Saturday evening, but from a purely selfish perspective, the one that delighted us most was the richly deserved recognition of Linda Norval as the Anita Akal awardee. Linda joined us shortly after the gates opened, and apart from a sabbatical stint (when she left us for another man!), she’s been a mainstay of our operation start to finish. In that time, she’s become a household name, not only at home, but for many abroad, who consider her the standard by which administrators are measured.
Here is an extract from Summerhill’s 2007/2008 Sires Brochure:
“A legend of our own time manages the Summerhill Farm office. This one was here the day the gates opened, when the office was just a part of the passage in the old farmhouse. Yes, the same farmhouse built by the Deputy Prime Minister, old Colonel Richards, the one that housed the Royal Family.
This is the daughter-in-law of the legend that bred every great horse that ever deserved a mention among the legends that made Hartford the greatest thoroughbred nursery of its era. She is the same legend that (last season) single-handedly sold something like 20% of all the stallion seasons traded in South Africa. She’s the voice behind the telephone the world has come to know as Linda Norval. Celebrity, champion, institution. Like the rest of the team, she’s come to appreciate the enormity of a third (now eighth) Breeder’s Championship. She doesn’t just appreciate it though: she’s one of those that made it, and like the rest of us, she’ll never forget it.
But she’s also one of those that’s never forgotten where we all come from. There are no short cuts to the top. Blood, sweat and sacrifice are the DNA of Champions, and the day after the celebrations end, she’ll be back at work. Ahead of time, as usual.”
In all, a Summerhill delegation of twenty-one celebrated six individual awards, while Kahal’s Stallion of the Year was achieved entirely on the back of a job done here. Hat’s off to St John Gray, whose outstanding performer Dancewiththedevil, walked away with the Horse of the Year for the second time.
Saturday evening was the last dance in another great year in the Summerhill story. It’s an acknowledgement of the value of a plan coming together, a revolutionary approach to farming, a unique strategy in the raising of our horses, a recognition of the value of investing in our people, and an understanding that without the support of one of the world’s most envied group of customers, none of it would be possible.