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THE IDEA IS EXCELLENCE

al maktoum school of excellence link
al maktoum school of excellence link

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Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence worksite

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“More Bulldust Part 5”

Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010

A few years ago, on TV’s Business channel, we were asked how we measured the success of our business. Firstly, it’s the piece of wood that marks the end of 2200 metres on the First Saturday in July. Secondly, and just as importantly, it’s the homeruns of our people.

Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of the bottom line. We don’t give up on anybody; we believe in deathbed conversations. It’s part of the culture at Summerhill and it’s a policy that’s awarded thirty two scholarships to our people in the past thirteen years. To the best farms in the world.

It’s a policy that’s rewarded the energies of two young Zulu cooks in the Hartford kitchen, with national honours at cooking exhibitions in Zurich and Prague. And it’s a philosophy that’s made cultural ambassadors of our traditional dancers (all 35 of them) when they finished 3rd, then 2nd, at the World Traditional Dance Championships in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Second. In the whole darn world. We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give, and these are the things that get us up in the morning.

Africa is the next place, the last frontier of opportunity. Take your hats off, if you will, to the learned countries of the north for their financial systems and their industries, but the final gift, and perhaps the most precious of all, will come from Africa. The corridors of civilization have become increasingly crowded and belligerent, and there will be a premium on countries that offer space, tranquility, and critically, the human touch.

When it comes to humanity, for all its paradoxes, Africa stands alone. It is the final bastion of untapped creativity, the front which reconnects us to our roots. Travel the world and return to Africa, and you’ll know that deep, within you, there resides an understanding that this is where we all began.

Long ago, our upbringing deprived us of the human touch, trapping us into a lopsided worship of money, and belongings and a spiritual wasteland. Africa has the talent, nay the genius, to reintroduce us to our ourselves. Talent hits the target no-one else can hit; genius hits the target no-one else can.

So what’s this all about? In our case, it’s the recognition of another gift we’ve gained from Africa. The realisation that there’s an interdependence between ourselves and all the other inhabitants of this earth. The trees, the animals, the insects, the air itself.

When it comes to horses, the Zulus, who’ve been tending their herds for millennia in these valleys, will stand their ground with best in the world. In our book, they are the best in the world. And the generosity of our benefactors of the past 20 years, Dubai’s Rulers, is what will take them to the next level.

This time next year, the Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence will be a reality. The first of its kind in Africa, and in its own way, the first of its kind anywhere.

It’s what South Africa deserves, and it’s the legacy Their Highnesses want to leave.

The opportunity is here; the time is now.

Hope may well be the music of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it.

email
email

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.za for your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Click below to read “Bulldust”

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

bulldust part 1
bulldust part 1
bulldust part 2
bulldust part 2
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 5
bulldust part 5

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RIDE THE BREEZE - REAP THE WHIRLWIND

winter at summerhill stud
winter at summerhill stud

Summerhill Stud

(Photo : Greig Muir)

“More Bulldust Part 4”

Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010

Things are different now. The global financial turbulence has left few people with anywhere to hide. It’s times like these that expose our colours, that define who we are and remind us what we stand for.

When Pat Goss Snr found himself in the winner’s circle in the aftermath of St Pauls’ victory in the 1946 Durban July, he was unhesitating in his response. He applied the proceeds towards the acquisition of a son of Hyperion, the pre-eminent stallion of his era. Despite the austerity of the times, Pat Goss felt heowed it to racing.

Summerhill has just emerged from a triumphant series of sales.

Twenty percent up when the world was 40% down. A comforting thought in austere times.

Right now though, our customers are looking to us for an act of faith. Like us, they know we’re covering our mares for the 2012 sales. They see this as a time of opportunity, a time to getahead when others are retreating.

So we’ve honoured their courage by upping the ante. With the best collection of young stallions ever assembled. We owe it tothem, we owe it to our staff, and we owe it to South Africa.

In the process, we’ve taken the word “faith” to a new level.

email us
email us

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.za for your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Click below to read “Bulldust”

Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

bulldust part 1
bulldust part 1
bulldust part2
bulldust part2
bulldust part 3
bulldust part 3

South African Breeders' Championship : THE BIG FIVE

a misty morning at summerhill stud
a misty morning at summerhill stud

A misty Summerhill morning

(Photo : Greig Muir)

“More Bulldust Part 3”

Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010

Horses are a language we can all share.

Sometimes there are quiet asides, sometimes dramatic moments, but there’s always a story to tell. Look hard enough and you’ll find romance in the life of every great racehorse.

At Summerhill, we think we’re the luckiest people on the planet. We wake up on one of the great pieces of real estate on earth; we gaze out upon a World Heritage site, the Drakensberg; we go to work with some of mankind’s finest human beings; and we get to work with the noblest creature the good Lord ever created.

On the way, we’ve visited the mountain top, a place few people ever get to go. In the annals of recorded history, only six farms have ever aspired to the South African Breeders’ Championship, the tightest contest in all of racing. In what must surely be remembered as the “Summerhill decade”, we’ve known so many champagne moments, but they are mere footnotes in an extraordinary tour de force.

Understand, there was no big enterprise or family cash behind Summerhill. In a world as competitive as it’s ever been, and with massive fortunes pouring into the game, we’ve had to do things differently. A bit of inspiration, loads of perspiration, the occasional celebration.

The result is an animal that’s had to be different. A horse that runs like he knows what he owes.

The “Toyota” of South African racing: excellent quality, great dependability, and outstanding value. The virtues our nation has come to respect most. And they know too, this is the “Genuine Article”. Honest, authentic, the original.

Any number of records and five consecutive Breeders’ Championships later, besides God, we owe these victories to the racehorse. Our history was written on his back. We are his heirs, but he is his own heritage.

For close on a century now, our families have devoted themselves to this religion. We are unashamedly proud of our connectivity with our sport, and the fact that every day, there’s a new story to tell.

So mark this then. When you’re dealing with Summerhill, you’re not only buying a horse or a service. You’re buying a piece of history.

south african breeders log
south african breeders log
email us
email us

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.za for your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

Click below to read “Bulldust” Part 1 and Part 2

bulldust part 1
bulldust part 1
bulldust part 2
bulldust part 2

More Bulldust

bulldust video link
bulldust video link

“THE ROAD TO EL DORADO”

If you should hear in the streets of our village, what Summerhill owes to the bank, it’s not that our financial custodians have been indiscreet. It’s part of our deal with our people.

There were times in our thirty years that those numbers would have frightened the life out of some folk. But it was part of the faith we have with our bankers. They backed us every inch of the way.

Building an enterprise of Summerhill’s ilk, is a daunting prospect. Especially if you kick off at ground zero. It takes time, and it guzzles capital.

So write this down. May 2nd, 2009. A halcyon moment in our history. For the first time in three decades, we had cash in the bank.

A signal, if ever there was one, that we’d cut the mustard. Fundamental to all of this, was a single standout feature. We backed the Summerhill stallions.Every inch of the way. In all our time, we never wavered, all the while knowing they’d deliver the bacon. At the right time, at the right price.

Yet, in preparing ourselves for the battles of the turf, it’s not about paying less. It never has been. Value is about getting more for your money, which is what the Summerhill Sires have always been about. And remember this, we pay what you pay, and we only win if you win.

In the end though, it all boils down to this. If you’re not using a Summerhill stallion, ask yourself or your advisors why not?

After all, in this game, you don’t win silver. You only lose gold.

If you’re not on the mailing list, or if you’d like to check that you are,

please email Marlene at info@summerhill.co.zafor your copy

of the world’s number one Sires brochure.

HERE COMES THE “BULLDUST!!”

writing brochure
writing brochure

(Photo : Chris Greene/Summerhill)

Those who’ve known us for a long time, and those who’ve tried to get hold of him in recent weeks, will know where the boss is.

Not being a natural propagandist (!), he tucks himself away and spews out the next version of the farm’s brochure. We then share excerpts from it in the weeks leading up to publication, and we thought the most appropriate, given next Saturday‘s event, would be this one.

THE WINTER GAME

Though why it’s called a “game” is beyond us. True, its time for the hats and the pearls to come out, but its also time for the gloves to come off. Because its time for the toughest sport of the lot.

Racing is a game in which horses are the religion, and the fans are there to be entertained. Our people are “Saturday” people, especially in winter when the biggest of the big race days find their way to the Garden Province. Those marquee days you long for. Like the First Saturday in July.

Yes, Saturday afternoon in the city: the Summerhill horses will be there. How do we know? Well, they’ve been there before, you know. And there are places they still want to go.

On the way, there’s something they will encounter which is every bit as contagious as the equine flu. They call it “July” fever, for which there is no known vaccine. On big race days our fellows know what it takes. Some never do.

The parade for the Vodacom July is the telling moment in racing. Its history is as old as the game itself, and we cherish its traditions. That’s why we’ve chosen to polish it, rather than overhaul it.

Among the cheering crowd, it’s safe to say, there’ll be several people who’ve made significant investments in the horses passing by. It’s at times like these, when the money’s down, that you want to know that yours has the foundations. The place, the pedigree and the upbringing. Most times, that’s as good as money in the bank.

Later on when the sticks are out, and they’re calling for the reserves, the penny just drops.

summerhill logo
summerhill logo

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