The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) held their delayed annual National Yearling sale this past weekend. Despite the tough economic conditions and prevailing uncertainty, the overall results were positive and the top lot was sold for R7 Million to Henning Pretorius for his newly acquired Summerhill Equestrian. The colt, a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner, Hawwaam out of the Champion Broodmare Halfway to Heaven and by Champion Stallion Silvano, was a stand-out individual with a champion’s pedigree.
Most rewarding for the Breeders’ Association was that the Cheveley Stud Grooms sold their own Futura colt for R1.2 Million to Plattner Racing. Of the 300 yearlings sold, only 12 achieved a price of R1 Million and above, so this was an excellent achievement, especially in this difficult market.
The Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, together with the regional Breeders Clubs and the individual stud farms, is instrumental in driving ongoing education and training of stud staff who are absolutely integral to the efficient functioning of a labour intensive stud farm. This is to enable the continual development of staff and their capabilities, allowing them the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skills, through a formalised training program, accredited by the Equine Qualifications Authority of South Africa (EQASA). In addition to the training provided, long serving stud staff and those that have passed specific levels of training are included in inclusive co-operative programs, which enable staff to be more fully vested in the industry and the outcomes. Usually these programs include ownership of a mare and her foals, to be produced for yearling sales. Apart from the potential returns, this also allows the staff to better understand the business side of the stud farm and gives a broader understanding of the importance of all aspects of such a farming operation, and how each relates to the final results.
The Association and Bloodstock South Africa waive entry fees and commissions on the sale of any groom’s horses, so that all proceeds will be for their account, to be invested in further bloodstock or as the group agrees.
Among this successful group of Cheveley staff is the current top qualifier to have successfully completed all levels of the Stud Yard Managers training, Stoffel Mouton. Stoffel started at Cheveley Stud in 2004, marking 16 years of service. He has worked incredibly hard to elevate himself to an Assistant Managerial position and is responsible for the barren mares, weanlings and yearlings. To mark this milestone, the TBA presented him with an award, and trophy immediately after their horse had gone through the auction ring.
“Our Stud Staff are the heart of our Bloodstock and Racing industry, it is their hands-on care, dedication and patience, that produce the horses that grace our race-tracks and go on to be champions. They deserve all the support and recognition that we can offer them.” TBA CEO Catherine Hartley