Alec Hogg
Our friends thought us daft when, in late 2009, we acquired a small farm near Mooi River in KZN to start our great thoroughbred breeding adventure. How do you make a small fortune… some reminded me… start with a big fortune and go farming.
— Alec Hogg /

All good things come to those who wait – even in horse breeding.

But we were actually onto a “sure thing”. Because after decades of isolation, South African horses – which are raised cheap and can run like the wind – would soon be allowed into the export market. The belief was so strong the CEO of the Thoroughbred Breeders Association proclaimed horse exports would be flowing within a year because scientists had found a way to quell fears foreigners had about being exposed to the dreaded African Horse Sickness.

Although there was never anything official, I knew the dream was in trouble when the TBA’s bossman resigned. Our part ended prematurely when copper cable thieves ripped out our lifeline to the world (and my ability to continue broadcasting a live national radio show from the farm). Telkom’s team tried their best. But after being hit three times in 10 days, they understandably threw in the towel.

I’ve watched from the sidelines as my horse breeding friends have battled on. But the wheel is finally turning. News hit my inbox yesterday that the World Organisation for Animal Health is now onside. So, too, AusVet. Prof Ian Sanne of Wits says a billion rand export industry is in prospect, maybe more given the weak Rand. It’s been seven long years for South Africa’s racehorse breeding industry. Here’s hoping, for them and the country, that the biblical seven fat ones are coming.