Knuckling Down During Lockdown


The farms are continuing quietly in the background with their work, and whilst the sales have been delayed due to the Covid19 pandemic its business as usual for those working in agriculture and livestock – obviously with the safety measures in place such as social distancing, masks and hand sanitizing in place.

Bush Hill Stud this morning.

The KZN midlands has had 50mm of rain recently which is good news ahead of Winter – Bush Hill Stud is looking lush, Capital Stud are getting off the ground in what was previously known as Summerhill Stud with their large Sport Horse operation.

Amongst the social media posts this week was Ashley De Klerk pictured with her soldier of a racehorse, the 11-time winner Putchini enjoying time off in his paddock and base, Yellow Star Stud, during lockdown.

Ashley De Klerk, the owner of racehorse Putchini at Yellow Star Stud. Image: Lorraine De Klerk

The eight year old son of Bezrin has reportedly only ever seen a vet for routine work and has never had a day of unsoundness in his career, and boasts 108 runs for 10 wins, 25 places and stakes of R740,175. He won his last start on 11 March, under Jabu Jacobs over 1600m.

Rathmor Stud. Image: Brad McHardy

KZN’s pretrainers Jill Fox and Jane Thomas, situated in Fort Nottingham and Mooi River respectively, are continuing work each morning with their babies, a number which are now ready to go into training once lockdown lifts.

Mike and Tanya McHardy of Rathmor Stud in Nottingham Road have reported “its business as usual” at Rathmor. “Its all good so far. All our staff are on lockdown with us on the farm. We are continuing as normal and our clients have been fantastic in their support!”

The Fort Stud string out for exercise in Fort Nottingham. Jill Fox said a number of them are ready to go into training when lockdown is over. Image: Jill Fox

Whilst 2020 has been a challenge for all concerned, the breeders will be under severe pressure this year for income with the National Yearling Sale delayed to the end of July and the the KZN Yearling Sale being integrated into the National 2YO Sale – now delayed to the end of November, originally scheduled for August.

Breeders begin prepping their yearlings from the end of 2019 for inspections, so it is indeed a long haul until the sale.

Amongst the the horses on offer from KZN this year in the Nationals catalogue are: half-brother to Gr2 winner Montreal Mist, a half brother to Listed winner Alfeo, half sister to Celestina, half-sister to Silent Crusade, half brother to Railtrip and Gr1 winner Hero’s Honour, half sister to Gr1 winner Rabada, half-sister to Gr1 winner Takingthepeace, half sister to Gr1 winner Love Struck, and Gr3 winner Royal Pleasure.


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