Sean Tarry has always been high on Jet Master’s gifted racing son, Lance. He should know. He’s trained several of the family, including his Group One-winning brother Liege, yet Lance was always his pick of the tribe. When Lance stripped the sheen off Louis The King’s burgeoning reputation in the Secretariat Stakes, Tarry was quick to proclaim him a Gr.1 horse in waiting.
If you weren’t around in the late 1800s and the early part of the twentieth century, you’re most likely to remember Hartford, the farm, for the exploits of its famous racehorses. In 1939, the late Raymond Ellis and his family acquired the property as a country retreat, a refuge from their beachfront hotels and property holdings in Durban.
In its heyday as home to more than 900 horses belonging to owners across 22 timezones from Japan to the United States, Summerhill Stud and its associated hotel, Hartford House, was the Midlands’ most visited tourist destination. An average of 60-70 people signed the visitors’ roster at its historic main gate on a daily basis, and while that number included the plumber, the electrician and delivery vehicles, the principal magnet was its horses and its hospitality.
The National Yearling Sale catalogue is still close by for reference, we had the Mistico broodmare and weanling sale last week, as well as the emotion-charged Moutonshoek dispersal. And then there’s the Klawervlei Farm Sale coming up in a few weeks. The BSA KZN yearling sale catalogue is already available online.
Hat Puntano comes with some priceless silverware in his genetic cabinet, a son of one of the best milers of the breed-shaping Sunday Silence in Hat Trick (already sire of a major French stallion in Dabirsim) from a daughter of the stellar “shuttle” horse, Bernstein (by Storm Cat).
Here we are, 40 years on, still plumbing the rich vein of those pipes that churn up the stallion gems, as sure as we’ve ever been about finding the “right one” in a game that’s the “unsurest” of them all. Which brings me to my topic: Taking Stock: Stallions by Non-Elite Sires, which was the subject of recent debate in the United States.
The Ato gelding Chijmes confirmed again that he is no slouch when leading all the way to win the R150,000 Listed Sea Cottage Stakes at Turffontein on Sunday to give claiming apprentice Denis Schwarz his first feature success.
The end of the year means it is awards season and the decision to present breeder Mick Goss with a lifetime achievement award at the 2018 KwaZulu-Natal awards will be applauded throughout the racing industry.
Mick Goss was as gracious as ever as he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award at the KZN Breeders Awards dinner at the Fordoun Hotel on Saturday evening. “Saturday evening was one of those occasions, as good as any we’ve known since the Summerhill gates were first opened in the dawn of 1979,” said the eloquent multiple champion breeder.
The KZN Breeders Awards were held at a festive function at the Fordoun Hotel on Saturday evening. January marks the 40th year of Summerhill’s involvement in the breeding business, and across the span of four decades, our horses and our people have taken us to the mountain top many times.