“I’ve been quoted in the local and foreign press recently as saying that breeding racehorses is a business in which you can grow old, and the presence at Summerhill of six young stallions of high racing class is a sign that we have hope for the future. At the same time, we’ve encouraged the younger generation to keep their chins up in anticipation of the normalisation of our export protocols. Both of these things have become realities.
That said, I’ve often said in the past that if Summerhill is ever to be sold, I would prefer it to be in my lifetime. The reason is these are heritage properties in the true sense of the word, and they are populated by some of the best people in the world. It has been paramount in our thinking that if ever we were to part with this legacy, it would be to someone who appreciates its value and who might polish it for all it’s worth. Besides, all these businesses need is a dash of new energy and a modicum of fresh investment.
Remarkably, just as we were making our plans for the year ahead, that very person appeared across our bows. Henning Pretorius is a devoted South African, a self-made, highly successful farmer and a horseman of considerable renown. In the equine sense, his Capital Stud is arguably the premier source of excellence in the production of sport horses on the African continent. We can think of no better combination of investor and driver of the future of the businesses and the brands which Summerhill and Hartford represent, than Henning Pretorius.
Thankfully, the sale of Summerhill and Hartford foresees the continuation of their former activities in conjunction with Capital Stud going forward, in what has the potential of becoming a significant attraction for horse lovers and visitors from across the globe.
For our part, the Goss family is going nowhere. Henning has generously accommodated our mutual wish to remain involved in the day-to-day activities of the business and to maintain our ties with our great friends and patrons of the farm and the hotel, as well as the one institution capable of preparing young South Africans for their futures in the horse industry, the Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence. Having devoted a good deal of our working lives towards the reopening of the country’s export lanes, we look forward to participating in the largesse that will generate for the game’s players.
And with that, a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all the great friends and acquaintances we have made in our 41 years at Summerhill and Hartford.”
-Mick Goss, Summerhill Stud