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A Visit To Summerview Stud

Colleen and Gary De Klerk of Summerview Stud, with Steelheart – a daughter of Crusade and Modern Minstrel aimed at May’s Nationals. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Summerview Stud is nestled in a quiet lane in the middle of Summerveld, the home to KZN’s bustling horse racing training centre that houses almost 2000 horses when the Champion Season, from March to August, is in full swing. 

A tranquil beautiful property owned by Gary and Colleen De Klerk which is also a stone’s throw away from Piemonte Stud. Gary and Colleen both have a deep love and passion for the Thoroughbred breed – Gary has been involved in owning racehorses for the past 30 years, whilst the “horse bug” bit Colleen as a child and she rode competitively from then, and still continues to ride today, more recently with retired mare, Speedy Guest.

Speedy Guest enjoying her retirement. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Colleen laughs about the prospect of riding again and taking on retired mare Speedy Guest: “After her last foal, we gave her time to strengthen up, lunged her a bit and built her up as she hasn’t been sat on for over 10 years.

“We decided to go for a quite hack and I told my daughter Tash, ‘you get on her first so I can see what she does!!’ Tash walked her and did a little trot and she was absolutely fine, and we went for a little walk around the block. It was fun and I am very happy with her!” 

Their best bred horse to date is Caribbean Bay, a daughter of Mullins Bay out of Speedy Guest who is a 8-time winner and been placed 20 times.

Colleen continues with the story of the bay filly, Caribbean Bay. “We were going to send her back to Mullins Bay but sadly he died. We never got a bid for her at the 2012 KZN Yearling Sales. Dennis Drier said not to stress, bring her to me and I will train her for you. We sent her in, he backed her at their farm and from just three runs came a short head second and a fourth.

“We then received an offer to purchase her, and we sold her. She moved to Kom Naidoo and had three wins there, and was sold on further to Kimberley. Her nickname from Zietsman Oosthuizen is “Girly”. Caribbean Bay has done well at Flamingo Park. It seems that she really enjoys the sand surface.” 

A budding young farm with a very hands on personal touch – their horses were always bred, raised and sold from bigger nurseries in the Midlands, but in 2013 they decided to take a leap of faith, brought their mares and progeny home and sold at their first sale – the 2015 KZN Yearling Sale at Suncoast.

Starting with just three mares, they have now increased to 10 – visiting the Cape Mare Sale and purchasing privately from the leading farms in the country, which has resulted in a small band of choicely-bred mares and exciting stock coming through. 

Magnficient Crusade filly Steelheart, out of Modern Minstrel. She is being aimed at the 2017 National Yearling Sale in May. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Summerview Stud’s first sale with only three yearlings on offer saw the lovely grey Kahal colt Whitewater Rapids sell for R170 000, the Dennis Drier grey recently debuted and finished just 4.8 lengths off the winner, a very promising debut.

Modern Minstrel, a half sister to Damasco. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Whitewater Rapids is out of the grey mare Modern Minstrel by Modern Day – the mare is a half-sister to ARCSA Champion 3Yo Sprinter Damasco, and her other half-brother the Gr2 placed General Blake.

To date her first produce by Ravishing, Mandolin Rain, is a winner and placed and Whitewater Rapids looks promising from his first start. Modern Minstral has a beautiful grey Crusade filly named Steelheart that is being aimed at the National Yearling Sale in May 2017. She is a filly that oozes quality and scope and will be one to look for at the Nationals. 

Gary De Klerk talks about his start in the love of horse racing, with the first horse he owned being Debonair Dandy, a three time winner. “We bought him with Johnny Dawson and I introduced my father in law, Alan Gooderson, back into the game – he then bought Damasco and had incredible success with him.

“Then I bought Modern Minstral – we raced her and we had a few other good ones – I also bought the full brother to Damasco, Steel Gate which was with Clodagh Shaw – he won one and was placed seven times. His last run under Gift Funeka, he was cruising up to win and broke his leg about 50m from the finish so unfortunately that was a bit of bad luck, but we know how good Modern Minstral’s family was.”

An outstanding filly by Noble Tune at Summerview. Image: Candiese Marnewick

“We began buying a few mares and decided to raise our horses on our own farm. We started with three mares, and now have 10, three years later. We have retired two this year – Modern Minstral and Speedy Guest, the latter which Colleen is now riding and enjoying her. Done Roamin’ is having a rest this year. We have purchased some mares in Cape Town to try and upgrade our stock. We have Over the Anvil, Swan Neck, Sawubona (who unfortunately died), and a Trippi mare, Harlem Nocturne.”

Gary talks about the beginning of the stud: “We started breeding with a mare called Speedy Guest and then we bought Done Roamin’, a daughter of Rambo Dancer which was a lucky acquisition for the farm. No one bid on her at the sale so we bought her.”

To date she has repaid the De Klerk’s with taking a chance on her. Her first foal, a lovely dark bay colt by Fort Beluga named Cedar Wood sold for R100 000 at 2013 National 2Yo Sale. He is a winner who also placed 10 times.

The next to come was Copper’s Pride, a handsome Muhtafal colt who sold to Duncan Howells for R160 000 at the 2014 KZN Yearling Sale. The gelding won two in a row and placed, was subsequently sold to Mauritius but sadly died before he was able to step onto the Mauritian tracks.

Gary continues: “Her next is a King’s Chapel filly with Dennis Drier called Queens Chapel. She will be running very soon and at the 2016 KZN Yearling Sales we sold a Kahal filly, Desert Wanderer.” 

Colts in sales prep for the May Nationals. On the left is John Snow, a son of Crusade and on the left is a handsome big colt by Mambo In Seattle. Image: Candiese Marnewick

“To date Harlem Nocturne has had an Elusive Fort filly and after the immense success of American dual Gr1 winner Liam’s Map who stands at stud at Lane’s End – bred on the Unbridled’s Song x Trippi cross – we decided to send her to Noble Tune at Rathmor Stud in 2016 – it only made sense to do so. We have some real lookers on the ground at the moment and we have given huge support to Crusade, Noble Tune and Flying the Flag. We believe they are going to do it.”  

Summerview’s “lucky find” – Over The Anvil (Fort Wood) with her surprise month old Gimmethegreenlight filly. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Currently, Summerview Stud have eight foals on the ground, and include the likes of progeny by Gimmethegreenlight, Noble Tune, Crusade, Toreador (an underestimated stallion), the handsome Irish Flame, Elusive Fort, and Linngari.

Colleen continues about their lucky filly: “Our Gimmethegreenlight filly – we are very excited about her – she is just over a month old, and was a surprise as we had bought the mare Over the Anvil believing she wasn’t in foal.

“Of course it’s a proven cross – Fort Wood mares have produced Hack Green and Green Pepper with progeny by Gimmethegreenlight.  She was also the first foal that Tash and I foaled down on our own without assistance from our usual “midwife,” so she is very special indeed!”

Summerview Stud have five yearlings this year – two of them are currently being prepped for National Yearling Sale inspections – the steel grey filly by Crusade and a big handsome colt by Mambo In Seattle. 

Keep a look out for the red, white and black colours at the upcoming yearling sales of Summerview Stud where your purchase is likely to enter the winner’s enclosure! 

Summerview Stud in the sales ring. Image: Candiese Marnewick

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  1. Lovely to see yous twos, good luck and good health to you and the horses xxx See you in February I hope.

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