Gold Circle Visit Yellow Star Stud

Gold Circle Visit Yellow Star Stud

Kildonan being presented for the tour from Gold Circle. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The Human Resources department of Gold Circle went on a team-building tour to the Summerveld Training Centre, South African Jockey Academy and then onto Yellow Star Stud on Thursday.

It was an eye-opening experience for the employees of Gold Circle who usually only see racehorses thundering down to the finish line at Greyville.

Olivia on the racehorse simulator. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The day started with breakfast at the Summerveld Training Centre and meeting with trainer Tony Rivalland to watch his string of young horses work.

Tony gave everyone an informative talk about what goes into training a horse ‘behind-the-scenes’ and this was followed by a visit to his stable-yard at Summerveld. The group learnt about the horses’ daily routine, their strict feeding regime, exercise as well as the horse-walker in the yard and general care of racehorses as athletes to get them to perform at their peak.

The group then moved onto the South African Jockey Academy where Headmaster Graham Bailey provided a very informative tour of what goes into producing a ‘world-class’ jockey. The South African Jockey Academy is the best of its kind internationally and also sees boys and girls coming from all the over the world to learn the art of riding a racehorse.

Wesley Roux, Pam Wright and Sushila with Backworth-bred filly by Kahal, Top Act - at Tony Rivalland's yard. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The Academy has produced a number of Champion Jockeys internationally in countries from England to Mauritius, Macau, Hong Kong and Singapore – amongst them Michael Roberts (now a trainer), Dougie Whyte, Barend Vorster, Jeff Lloyd – to name a few. With equipment including an indoor arena for the novice riders to learn, a gym and a multi-purpose court for the boys – the highlight of the visit included the racing simulators (including a state-of-the-art one from the National Lottery) which some of the staff demonstrate – a mechanical racehorse that amongst other things teaches the apprentices to balance and how to improve their riding tactics.

The last stop took place in Mooi River at Koos and Lorraine’s Yellow Star Stud – where the group were educated about the various aspects of breeding a racehorse, from conception. After being treated to a delicious lunch, a tour of the farm included seeing the weanlings, mares, the veterinary facilities, Yellow Star’s racing facilities (the only farm in the Midlands that operates a racing yard as well as breeding) as well as the two outstanding Var yearlings that have been entered for the upcoming Emperor’s Palace National Yearling Sale at the end of April.

Lastly, the resident stallions on the farm – Spectrum(IRE), Kildonan and Tropical Empire(AUS) were presented and provided a fantastic ending to a very busy and interesting day.

Thank you to Tony Rivalland, Graham Bailey of the South African Jockey Academy and Koos and Lorraine of Yellow Star Stud for a motivational day! View all the photos of the day on our Facebook page at the following link.

The group with Tony Rivalland at Summerveld. Image: Candiese Marnewick

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