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Rhino Revolution
Rhino Revolution

Watch an insert on Rhino Revolution and the use of ex-Racehorses

(A Jimmy and Aidan Lithgow Production)

“Rhino Revolution uses ex-racehorses in the war on poachers.”

The Rhino Revolution was started by concerned citizens in the town of Hoedspruit who called respected Rhino and property owners in the immediate area to a meeting to discuss the inaction surrounding the Rhino Poaching in the country.

The 7 Point Plan does not need to be followed sequentially but rather each topic or section is headed by an action group that is tasked weekly to progress on the issues at hand. With this more business like approach to Rhino.

They are consulting with the South African and International Media and embrace internationally high profile conservation individuals and NGO’s. Their  hope is to combine the multitude of small initiatives that are currently underway worldwide into a single global initiative that is results driven and focused on the well being of Rhino.

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A Yearling For Africa
A Yearling For Africa

A yearning for Africa…

(Photo : Gareth Du Plessis)

“…the yearning for the

Great Outdoors of this Country.”

Mick Goss - Summerhill Stud CEO
Mick Goss - Summerhill Stud CEO

Mick Goss

Summerhill Stud CEOThere’s an old saying that you can take a man out of Africa, but it’s difficult to take Africa out of a man, and we were reminded of this on the weekend. Just a few kilometres from Summerhill, on the newly re-surfaced Giant’s Castle road (what a joy!) we were startled by a unique sight. Thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the Drakensberg (uKhahlamba) World Heritage Mountains every year, in search of the ubiquitous Lammergeier, the bearded vulture whose origins go back to Tibet. Because of its scarcity, many are disappointed at not seeing this grand bird, but they nonetheless return year after year, charmed by the other marvels of this magnificent park.

When we were last at Giant’s Castle, my son, Nicholas and I were fortunate enough to find a Lammergeier soaring just outside the main Giant’s camp. Their habit is to appear for a few moments, and then those great wings whisk them away on the back of a distant thermal, and consign them to our memory banks. It wasn’t unlike that on Sunday, but in this case, we found two of them hovering not far from the crest of a hill, right in front of us. Again, they allowed us just long enough to identify them, and then gracefully, but almost torturously they spiralled off into the blue, winging it back to their mountain lair.

Not long ago, the Lammergeier (so named because they see lambs as prey,) was the scourge of sheep farmers, looked upon as the enemy and treated as fair game. Thanks to the work of the body of our conservationists, today it is seen for what it is, a magnificent bird on the edge of extinction.

But this is Africa, and we are not only about Lammergeiers. This weekend alone, we saw Fish Eagle on our lakeside banks, Reedbuck in abundance, Oribi and Blesbok and countless Jackal, which keep us awake at night with their haunting calls. There were traces of Lynx Rufus (Rooikat, Bobcat) in the vicinity of the old Up The Creek Barn, while the celebrated ceramicist, Michael Haigh of Cafe Bloom, reported a leopard sighting on the Giant’s Castle road.

What a privilege to live side by side with these creatures, and to share it with some of the continent’s finest Thoroughbreds. It is a rare harmony, quite unique in the world, and one of the many charms of our existences.

Ask any South African emigrant living abroad, how he feels about his adoptive country, and you’ll hardly ever get mixed signals. But the one thing most of them have in common, is the yearning for the great outdoors of this country, and what they hold. There just isn’t another place quite like it.



summerhill stud, hlatikulu valley near giant's castle, kwazulu natal
summerhill stud, hlatikulu valley near giant's castle, kwazulu natal
summerhill stud, giant's castle, kwazulu natal ,south africa
summerhill stud, giant's castle, kwazulu natal ,south africa

Summerhill Stud, Giant’s Castle, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

(Photos : Summerhill Stud)


Not long ago, we were locked in talks with an aspirant investor in the Summerhill enterprise. There’ve been numerous suitors for a share of the action at Summerhill over the years, at least four of them from across the waves. But this time, it came from one of the thoroughbred world’s most intrepid investors.

While there was never an argument about the values placed on the land or the assets, there was some discussion about the relationship of cost to reward. In stock exchange parlance, this is called the “P/E” or the price/earnings ratio, expressed as an index measuring the earnings as a multiple against the value of the asset. The great companies of the world command a PE in the vicinity of 20x earnings.

There came a time in the course of our discussions with the prospective investor that he exclaimed “God, Mickey, your PE is higher than Coca-Cola”. A month later, we became the first stud farm east of the Drakensberg to take the Breeders Championship.

At last year’s awards, shortly after we came off the podium with our fifth consecutive Equus Award, our good friend was the first and most magnanimous well-wisher to congratulate us. We’ve never forgotten his earlier retort, and our quietly understated answer was “now you know why we’re more expensive than Coca-Cola!”. In the end, it’s what one very rich man will pay to beat another.

No doubt, farmers in the Mooi River environs will take heart at the value people place on our local farmland. This is, after all, the country the British, the Zulus and the Boers fought so fiercely for in the 1800’s. Whenever we travel abroad, we kiss the floor at Oliver Tambo International on our return, never forgetting how lucky we are to till the soils of the finest agricultural and stock country on earth.


world economic forum davos
world economic forum davos

Not investing in Africa is like…

(Photos : Maps/Ethnite/EconoInsight)



Last weekend, Cheryl and I were honoured guests at the wedding of good friends, Alec and Jeanette Hogg, he of MoneyWeb and journalistic fame. (Click here to read more…) Their honeymoon takes them to interesting places, and on their return they translocate to their new home, adjacent to Summerhill. We have much to look forward to.

Meanwhile though, as this continent’s foremost financial journalist, Alec is a regular invitee to the goings on at Davos (and to Warren Buffet’s annual Berkshire Hathaway bash). His current business revolves around the meeting of the world’s most powerful economies, and there was an interesting take on Africa’s profile at this meeting in the Business Report.

“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) believes growth in sub-Saharan Africa will be 1 percentage point above the global average, and puts eight African countries in its top 20 fastest-expanding economies in 2010. Oil rich Angola and the Republic of Congo will lead the charge with growth rates of more than 9 percent and 12 percent respectively, both beating China, according to the IMF’s most recent projections.

“Africa is the continent of the long game”, said Tara O’Connor of Africa Risk Consulting. “It is not perfect, but the overarching trend is one towards entrenching political stability, which allows businesses to operate much more consistently”.

For some African countries, particularly those helped by Chinese investment and its thirst of energy and minerals, another boom may be approaching.

Investors with cheap cash needing to spice up returns in more obscure parts of the globe are asking whether Africa can shift from final investment frontier into the emerging market mainstream. Reflecting this interest, Africa got top billing at the annual meeting at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos last week.

“Not investing in Africa is like missing out on Japan and Germany in the 1950’s, southeast Asia in the 1980’s and emerging markets in the 1990’s:”, said Francis Beddlington, the head of research at emerging market investment house Insparo Capital.

For all the previous false dawns, there is a growing belief that the continent – home to 53 countries, a rapidly urbanising young population of a billion people and as much as a third of the world’s natural resources – is changing.