While you might have thought that as a mature organisation, their ideas would have been dulled by the passage of time, that’s an underestimation of the verve that populates the younger set and the energy it inspires in their elders. The latest idea was born with the recent decision to “tidy up” the numbers, which spawned the notion of a “pop up” auction. South Africa has never been short of enterprise: after all, this nation has produced more world class companies than any other of its size, and racing has been as generously endowed in the field of enterprise as any other game in town. Judging by the popular response to the return of the “old firm” of former TBA CEO Jan Naude, Sales Manageress Caroline Simpson and financial regulator, Marge Engelbrecht under the style of Livestock Auctions, it seems the Mooi River outfit has found a winner, not to mention the enthusiastic applause at the announcement that the internationally-acclaimed auctioneer, Clive Gardner will be back on the rostrum alongside Brandon Leer, the man who sold the most expensive buffalo in history at R168million. Looks like we’re in for a bumper afternoon’s entertainment, come the 14th of May, more so as Australian Steph Grentell’s guest appearance will mark the first lady to wield the gavel in South African racing history.
It didn’t take long for Jan Naude to recall the old Summerhill-induced three payment buyers’ incentive either, so those who turn up will not only have the spectacle of South Africa’s biggest bloodstock bonanza in two decades to look forward to, they will have the additional benefit of being able to stretch their payments over 90 days.
It’s an awfully long time since South Africa witnessed a sale of this scale and calibre, and we have to reach back to the days when Summerhill staged the last of their national broodmare and weanling sales in 1997, to find something approaching the present offering. Since then, the Midlands nursery has served as a veritable “production line” for more than 170 Stakes winners, 33 of them having excelled as champions or Group One winners.
With these odds and a record number of breeders’ titles for the modern era, it would take a brave man to bet against this sale yielding another trove of supreme treasures *
*Some of the champions and Group One winners sold by or bred at Summerhill since the last big sale in 1997: Spook And Diesel, Imperial Despatch, Hot Guard, Rebel King, Carnadore and Fez (Champion two year olds), Comareen, Shah’s Star (Cape Derby), Disappear, Nhlavini and Rebel King (Equus champion sprinters), Love Struck, Last Watch and Pierre Jourdan (SA Classic), Horse of the Year, Igugu, Dancing Duel (Durban July), Angus, La Fabulous, Igugu (J&B Met), Cereus, Desert Links (Gold Cup), Outcome, Bold Ellinore, Icy Air (Equus Champion fillies), Blueridge Mountain, Mystery Guest, Bianconi, Imbongi, Hear The Drums (winningmost racehorse in history), Pick Six, Rabada etc, etc.
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