|Reflection Of The 2011 Breeding Season|
As the end of Breeding Season 2011 draws near we reflect on the events of the past four months, with a number of highlights.
Rathmor Stud stole the limelight this season with the birth of their white colt with the chestnut ears born on 14 September. Rathmor Stud opened the naming of this colt with a public campaign on their facebook page, with Gran Blanco (meaning Great White) winning the social networking contest. He has drawn international attention due to his rarity.
By Kahal out of Perakeen by Rakeen, this colt is destined to attract attention and can only be good for South African breeding and racing, with his outstanding pedigree he should be destined for the winner’s circle in time to come.
Rathmor have had a great season with their mare Gypsy Queen also winning the KZN Breeders Award for Broodmare Of The Year. She is the dam of Gypsy’s Warning, a Grade 1 winner in South Africa and America who recently changed hands at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale for an incredible $1.05 million, which converts to approximately R9 million. Not bad for a yearling that sold for R170 000! Gypsy Queen has a beautiful big bay filly by Fort Wood this season and will be expecting a foal by Kahal next year. Mike and Tanya McHardy also took home the KZN Breeders Award 2011 for International Achievement, for their brilliant mare Gypsy’s Warning.
At the end of September, a new Chairman and Board were elected to represent the KZN Breeders Association. Koos De Klerk was elected as Chairman, Keith Russon as Vice Chairman, with Peter Blyth, Stuart Crawford, Alec Hogg, Wayne Kobusch, Bruce Le Roux, Hon Justice Magid, Linda Norval and Manny Testa being elected as Directors.
KZN-Bred racehorses have fared exceptionally well this season. The Mouseketeer (winner of the KZN Breeders 1600 in June) won the Grade 2 Emerald Cup at the end of September. Bred by Bush Hill Stud, this son of Kahal out of Look Sharp, won Africa’s richest race on dirt by two lengths. Look Sharp gave birth to a stunning chestnut colt this season by Mullin’s Bay – a 3/4 brother to The Mouseketeer.
Summerhill have a lot to be proud of this year with Pierre Jourdan winning the Emperor’s Palace Charity Mile Grade 2 by a length from a decent field of horses. Pierre Jourdan was also honoured with KZN Breeders Outstanding Older Male Award. Igugu(AUS), raised and grazed by Summerhill Stud, has now had 6 consecutive wins (including the 2011 Vodacom Durban July Grade 1), her last being the Ipi Tombe Challenge Grade 2. She lines up for the TBA Paddock Stakes Grade 1 on 7 January before taking her place in the J & B Met on 28 January.
Igugu(AUS) is going to have to fight it out with another KZN-Bred that had a scintillating victory in the Sansui Summer Cup Grade 1, Dancewiththedevil. This mare has also had 6 wins this year, including the Rising Sun Gold Challenge Grade 1, L Jaffee Empress Club Stakes Grade 1 and the Horse Chestnut Stakes Grade 1. Her dam produced a Jam Alley colt this season. Dancewiththedevil was voted KZN Breeders Horse Of The Year for 2011 and reinforced her Award by winning the Sansui Summer Cup the very next day.
The Apache won the Pinnacle Stakes recently, having finished just 2 lengths behind Dancewiththedevil in the Sansui Summer Cup Grade 1 and running a third in the Victory Moon Stakes Grade 2. Bred by Scott Brothers at Highdown Stud, this son of Mogok deservedly walked away with three awards at the KZN Breeders Awards evening. He has had three wins this year, including the Champions Cup Grade 1 and Daily News 2000 Grade 1.
KZN Breeders welcomed a number of new exciting stallions for the season. King’s Chapel(NZ) arrived at Bush Hill Stud, Just As Well at Spring Valley, Call To Combat at Hadlow Stud, Yellow Star Stud welcomed Spectrum and Tropical Empire, while Summerhill Stud have had the very talented Bankable and Visionaire. Spectrum is having much success overseas not only as a sire, but proving himself to be a formidable Broodmare sire, with Winchester flying the flag for him at the racetrack and Dutch Art having a successful start at stud.
Stallions who have had their first crop of foals arrive this season are A.P. Answer at Clifton Stud, Brave Tin Soldier at Summerhill Stud, Rocky Street at Middlefield, Strategic News at Rathmor and the late Fort Beluga formerly of Spring Valley Stud. All of these stallions have had quality books of mares with their foals showing the quality of their pedigrees. It is no secret that A.P Answer’s foals are all eye-catching and exciting and he has been well-supported this last season again. Brave Tin Soldier, with his exceptional pedigree, is passing on his good-looks and athleticism to his foals. Rocky Street has had beautiful big individuals and Strategic News has had lovely foals, all with fantastic pedigrees and good-looks, well-built and muscular like their sire with plenty of bone. Fort Beluga has stamped his foals, they are all good-looking large foals with similar markings on their faces and very substantial in build. It appears from his foals that Fort Beluga will be a sad loss to the breeding industry.
Unfortunately, with the highs come the lows, and one of those was the loss early in the breeding season of Manny and Mandy Testa’s wonderful stallion Second Empire who was standing at Yellow Star Stud. Second Empire had an impressive resume, standing in Ireland and Australia before coming to South Africa. The son of Fairy King produced winners overseas and began showing himself as a Broodmare Sire. After successful surgery on a fractured radial carpal, Second Empire shattered his hind leg while getting up after the anesthetic. He was unable to be saved. His son, Tropical Empire, will continue to fly the flag for him at Yellow Star.
The biggest shock to the industry came in early November with the death of National Champion stallion, Jet Master. It was announced in early August that he would not be covering mares for the coming season due to him contracting West Nile Virus. Sadly he didn’t quite recover as expected and a decision was made for surgery, with the very best international team operating on him (the same team that operated on the great Seattle Slew) in an effort to give the stallion a better quality of life but it was not to be. Sadly South Africa lost a truly great stallion, whose roots lie in KZN being by Rakeen out of Jet Lightening, he was bred in KZN by Hugh Jonsson. Jet Master places his legacy in KZN with the aptly-named Ravishing, standing at Summerhill Stud.
As Chairman Koos de Klerk said in his speech at the KZN Breeders Awards evening: “If you look at the National (Equus) Awards, we claimed seven of the 15 Breeder Awards. To those who don’t believe KZN breeds quality horses that can’t compete, don’t forget about the likes of National Champion Breeders Summerhill Stud, Equus Breeder of the Year St John Gray, Champion Dancewiththedevil and Champion Stallion, the KZN Bred Jet Master, and International Achiever Gypsy’s Warning. I think we can slap ourselves on the back. Quite firmly!”
Ashley de Klerk and Linda Norval put together an exceptional evening. Mogok who stands at Scott Brothers and the sire of The Apache and Gypsy’s Warning, won Stallion Of The Year with fellow Scott Brothers resident stallion Miesque’s Approval winning Stallion Prospect. Leading Breeders Of The Year went to Summerhill Stud – walking away as winners of five categories – and Breeding Achievement to St John Gray of Graystone Stud for Dancewiththedevil, a highly admirable feat he has achieved being the breeder, owner and trainer of this truly talented mare. The Anita Akal Industry Award went to Ian Outram.
KZN Breeders are the only breeding association in South Africa that offers an incentive to breed champion Thoroughbreds and be rewarded. This programme rewards breeders and stallion owners for their efforts in producing quality stock and was one of the principal attractions and continues to be so behind the arrival of outstanding stallions. If you would like to find out more about the KZN Breeders Premium Scheme please contact us.
We look forward to 2012 with plenty to be excited and proud about, a future where breeders are rewarded for success!