Passing of Breeding Stalwart Robin Scott

The link for Robin’s memorial on Saturday 18 September.

We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Robin Scott of Scott Bros.

A stalwart of breeding not only in KZN but in South Africa, the dream and magnitude of the racing and breeding achievements of Robin (with brother Des) will be felt for years to come still in pedigrees and mares and stallions nationwide – once when asked how many Graded Stakes winners he had produced, he chuckled and said “We used to keep records but we lost count!”.

Associated with many Champions spanning over 50 years including three July winners which included the mighty Politician and Devon Air, and a winner at Royal Ascot as well as the likes of Teal and Ipi Tombe, La Fabulous who owe the import of their dams to the Scott Bros to mention but a few, their influence is still felt today with the recent likes of Tempting Fate, whilst local and international Gr1 winner The Apache represented a breeding dream that came full circle for Highdown Stud – with his 5th dam one of the founding mares of the famed farm in Nottingham Road.

In Robin’s personal capacity, he had 445 winners as an owner from 1986 and up until July 2021. They included greats such as Bold West, Orbison, Jungle Chant, Jungle Sands and Intellectual, with many of the mares returning to Highdown Stud and beginning their own dynasties.

Robin also stood the mighty Foveros and Jungle Cove amongst his champion stallions, and in his later years Mogok lead the charge and produced Group horses from every crop, including siring Rathmor-bred Gypsy’s Warning and Scott Bros’ own The Apache – winning a Gr2 in Dubai and crossing the line first in the Gr1 Arlington Million. The Apache was a very special story that came full circle – as Robin had also owned Bold West, his grand-dam.

After visiting the leading stud farms of the world and the Argentine, all of this contributing to the planning of their phenomenal farm Highdown Stud in Nottingham Road which was cleverly built – with the stud office being the centre of the operation, and the stallion paddocks, barns, mare foaling units and stables all built in a circular shape within close walking distance of each other, allowing for efficient management and an eye on all happenings.

Their reach included overseas, owning the third dam of Querari and Quasillo. Robin spoke of how mares were sent by ship each year between Coolmore and Highdown, which lifted the quality of the breeding stock and bred Robin Scott a Gr3 winner at Royal Ascot.

Robin recalled the story of Politician, stating that they bought at the time the most expensive broodmare to come to South Africa from the USA, and after consulting with their associates, the decision was made to send her to Oligarchy, at the time considered a poor sire and not the best to use, but the cross the pedigree provided was drawing enormous success in the Unites States, which prompted the decision – and the gamble paid off.

Robin said he had to break the news to Des that Otha would visit Oligarchy, who subsequently said he thought “the stallion was dead”! They bred and sold Politician for R5000 – and Robin said it was the best R5000 he had ever received as it bought Scott Bros a lifetime of advertising and marketing that they could never have bought.

The Scotts with Bold West at Scottsville, the 3rd dam of The Apache.

Robin loved his horses and his mares, and continued to enjoy success in his later years with the likes of Matador Man. The Scott’s had a hand in the building of the TBA Complex and their sales drafts were always impeccable – although admitting to never selling horses for large amounts at sales, it could be guaranteed there would be at least a handful of Black Types and multiple winners in each draft.

The Scott Bros influence will remain forever etched in the South African stud book through both mares and stallions, with leading farms in the country enjoying the fruits of Robin and Des’ dream which we can all say, had been exemplary.

Robin and Joyce Scott lead in The Apache after winning a Gr1 at Hollywoodbets Greyville.

Always seen on the farm well dressed in beige chinos, a checked collared shirt and a jersey over his shoulders in winter, Robin was always kind, thoughtful and always ready to pass on his knowledge and had the ability to make everyone feel special who came into contact with him – yet downplayed his terrific achievements.

Robin fought his illness bravely and our thoughts go out to the Scott family – Joyce, children Genevieve, Russell and Stuart, during this very sad time. May he Rest In Peace.

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