The knockout story of 2007 has been the emergence of Jet Master as a stallion of serious consequence. For all the fine achievements of Fort Wood and Western Winter, in terms of international parallels, you have to go back to Northern Dancer’s early crops in the sixties to find a comparison. Before that, rewind to Hyperion in the 1940’s.
Jet Master was the product of the single mare operation of our old friend, Hugh Jonsson. He was sold as a weanling for R15 000, and his mother a year later for just R10 000. Most times a horse of these modest origins would, at the very least, end up a gelding. It’s a compliment to his owners that he isn’t, and its amazing to think that on such slender threads hang fame, fortune and the foundation of stud books.
By contrast, we read recently that the Big Five, as they’ve come to be dubbed, have produced very few Three Year Old Stakes winners between them, and one wonders how much that has to do with the fact service fees are getting beyond the reach of the genuine breeder. No doubt, stallions of such considerable class will continue to get runners of stature, and may yet prove otherwise, but we’ve been there ourselves, and we’ve known history’s judgement.
Consequently, our policy of setting our fees within the reach of most proper students of the art, will be maintained for as long as it’s in our power to do so. Why, Summerhill is a monument to the small breeder, and for as long as he has a cause, we’ll be his Champion.
The rules governing thoroughbred economics are at variance with those prescribed for other disciplines to a degree that almost defies gravity. Unless you’re in this game for more than just the “bottom line,” you’re in for a tough time.
Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2007/2008