Manny And Mandy Testa Acquire A New Farm For Midlands Thoroughbreds

Manny And Mandy Testa Acquire A New Farm For Midlands Thoroughbreds

Midlands Thoroughbreds

Manny and Mandy Testa of Midlands Thoroughbreds have recently acquired the farm known previously as “Burwell Stud” and they are very excited about their new venture.

Manny and Mandy are the founders of Midlands Thoroughbreds. Having acquired the KZN Midlands Resort, Midlands Saddle & Trout, in 1999 they unknowingly became horse owners through this acquisition.

Manny recalls their first visit to the resort after acquiring it: “Mandy and I were walking through the barn and when we asked the head groom who all the beautiful horses belonged to, looking somewhat bewildered, he said “YOU!”

After a crash course in Equine Management and a great deal of assistance from their neighbours they soon became horse lovers. Many of the horses were retired due to old age and the quest was on to replace them. After purchasing about 10 horses for riding, only to find out they were hopping lame when they got to the resort, their future lay in breeding.

Mandy continues their introduction to Thoroughbred breeding, saying: “I was looking through a magazine and saw that we could use Thief Of Hearts who was, by all accounts, the most beautiful horse I had ever seen. His service fee was R10 000 and that was what we had been spending on dilly horses for trails. I phoned Craig Ramsay and asked if we could send some mares. When he asked about their pedigrees I was stumped. No they are just riding horses I said. Within an hour we were at Golden Acres meeting with Craig who, firmly, set us straight on what Thoroughbred stallions could and could not be used for.” As the saying goes, the rest is history.

The Testas owned the stallion Second Empire(IRE) before his premature death last year and one of their talented horses currently racing is Legal Action, a son of Second Empire, who defeated KZN Breeders Outstanding Two Year old Colt, Midnight Serenade, by 1.25 lengths in his last start recently to win the Var Gold Rush Sprint. Legal Action has been nominated to run in the Grade 3 Man O’ War Sprint on Classic Day at Turffontein on Saturday 31 March, as well as another from the Testas, Dawn Light.

They bred amongst many others, Filly Bushwacker, a four-time winning and stakes-placed daughter of Bezrin who has been entered for the Grade 3 Jacaranda Handicap to be run on Classic Day at Turffontein as well.

Manny Testa, who is also a director of the KZN Breeders Association, recently brought Bezrin back from the Cape, and will manage the stallion who stands and will remain at Rathmor Stud.

“We have been breeding for eight years now and felt it was time to have our own farm,” Manny explains. “We have 17 mares at the moment and intend on improving our breeding operation, looking to go from strength to strength. We have 13 yearlings which will be going to the sales this year under our name and not via an agent.

“The farm is 312 hectares in extent, a weaning/yearling facility with 30 boxes, 32 normal boxes in a horseshoe type yard for spelling and a foaling barn consisting of 15 foaling boxes. We have approximately 40 hectares producing eragrostis for baling. We have 16 large Kikuyu camps and six eragrostis camps. There are three very nice stallion boxes with their own Kikuyu camps. We are searching for the right stallion to import as our foundation stallion.”

Rodney Clarken has been appointed Stud Manager and, “We are looking forward to establishing long and meaningful relationships with people who would like to breed Thoroughbreds with us at our farm. Mandy and I have succeeded in the Timeshare business over the last 23 years with the philosophy of always putting the client first and most of all, having fun!

“We will be actively marketing the facility and would love to work with like-minded breeders to get the most out of this exciting business. As we also own Midlands Saddle And Trout which is right next door, looking after our clients in the way we have become accustomed to, being in the hospitality industry, will be easy. We now have the opportunity to build up the Stud operation thanks to Erwin and Laina and we wish them all the very best in the Cape.”

KZN Breeders Association congratulates Manny and Mandy and wish them and Midlands Thoroughbreds well for the future. We look forward to the many champions that will come from this exciting venture!

Legal Action, winning the Var Gold Rush Sprint for Midlands Thoroughbreds   Mandy and Manny Testa with Detzky's Darling by Bezrin, now a 5-time winner   Bezrin at Rathmor. Image: Candiese Marnewick/MMVII

Midlands Thoroughbreds If you would like to contact Manny Testa of Midlands Thoroughbreds, please contact him on 082 337 6256 or alternatively email

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