Backworth Stud is proud to have hosted the wedding of Pascal Ellinas and Sarah Pietersen. Top Billing was here getting to know the newlyweds at their stunning country wedding.
We welcomed esteemed journalist and writer of the turf, Sarah Whitelaw, to Backworth Stud last week.
The scenery of the Southern KZN Midlands is a sight to behold in the late Autumn. This past weekend, we welcomed friends to the farm for an Autumn luncheon set in Backworth's magical gardens. A wonderfully relaxed afternoon combining light wines, fine dining and super company was enjoyed by all.
“In racing you are only as good as your last best horse.”
- John Freeman
John Freeman’s passion for the Thoroughbred lies in his selection of yearlings at sales, always in search of future sire material. His favourite field remains the syndication and management of stallions. As a selector and buyer of yearlings, his main aim has always been to buy champions and this steady pursuit of excellence has connected him with many of South Africa’s leading sires, including Dynasty.
We were thrilled to have John as a guest to Backworth this weekend past. He was here not only to see the stud, but also to inspect our foals and yearlings. If his reactions were anything to go by… we’d reckon he was impressed!
We welcomed a group of Gold Circle members to the farm last week offering an introduction to Backworth as well as insight into the operations of a Boutique Thoroughbred Breeding Establishment. We thoroughly enjoyed the group’s interest and enthusiasm and look forward to meeting again at the racetrack and sales!
Seen above Orishka Sukhraj, Keith Russon, Nikhil Naicker, Zainul Adams, Kashmeel Sukhraj, Saien Sukhraj, Shaylene Wildey, Selvan Pillay, Melinne Nathram, Vikash Doorgapershad, Shirley Pillay, Joan Cooke, Lee Scribante, Roy Cooke, Nancy Scribante, Naran Naicker and Aveer Sukhraj.
Last week we shared a couple of pics of Gary Grant, Dennis Drier and Ian Todd dressed in their ‘bright best’ at a wonderful, colourful Backworth lunch. Here are a few more ‘colourful characters’ enjoying a great, fun Autumn day in the KZN Midlands!
Seen above are Ian Longmore, Michael Strydom, Stirling Miller, Mike Miller, Nicola Coppez, Brett Crawford, Gilly Drier, Dennis Drier, Gary Grant, Melinda Grant, Justin Vermaak, Grant Langley, Carla Langley, Pippa Mickelburgh, Keith Russon and Ian Todd.
We welcomed the effervescent Michael and Sharon Azzie to Backworth last week for some great ‘equine’ conversation and a delicious ‘Mediterranean’ lunch… Eston-style!
We had a wonderful ‘racing’ lunch at Backworth last weekend… full of bright colours, bright characters and loads of colourful fun!! Seen above showing off their ‘colours’ are Gary Grant from The Equine Group, Dennis Drier and Ian Todd.
Backworth welcomed fellow KwaZulu-Natal breeders Lee and Nancy Scribante of Piemonte Stud this past weekend. Piemonte is a small Stud set in the heart of Summerveld run by the Scribante Family who have an inherent love for well bred race horses and a genuine passion for the racing game… needless to say a super time was had by all!
“Sekai no kaido wo yuku”
We recently welcomed Japan’s TV Asahi production team who were filming at Backworth as part of the Japan Africa co-ordinated “Sekai no kaido wo yuku” (translation - “going on roads around the world”) documentary which aims to showcase unique international destinations on mainstream Japanese TV.
The film crew compromised Mr Yoshihiko Kano (Director), Mr Arao Yokogi (Cameraman), Ms Kimie Horikoshi (Media Manager) and Coordinator Ms Chiaki Matsunaga.
From the Backworth team… “domo arigatou gozaimasu.”
Backworth welcomed Simon and Carleen Vivian, Paul Guy and Rekki Smith, representatives from Inglis in Melbourne, this past weekend.
William Inglis & Son Ltd have played a vital role in Australian racing history, with many of that nation’s finest thoroughbreds passing through the Newmarket sale ring.
Champions of all shapes and sizes, not to mention countless Derby, Oaks and Melbourne Cup winners, have all paraded beneath the world famous fig tree. Heroic, Amounis, Flight, Hallmark, Evening Peal and Wenona Girl? …right through to modern day stars such as Naturalism, Schillaci, Shogun Lodge, Universal Prince, Fairy King Prawn and of course, the great Might and Power.
As it turned out, the menu was well matched to our guests who sampled a ‘Black Caviar’ starter served with pink salmon representing the colours of one of Australia’s racing legends.
We welcomed Coles Executive MBA Students from Atlanta, Cox Family Enterprise Centre (CFEC), who were in this country studying Family run and owned businesses in South Africa as part of their education programme.
Since 1987, the Cox Family Enterprise Center (CFEC) has been dedicated to the research, education, and recognition of family businesses. Their commitment to this fundamental economic and social unit has allowed the CFEC to support and guide family businesses through their innovative programming, outreach, and scientific research.
Their mission is to improve the well being of family businesses through education for families and business leaders, recognition of the contributions family businesses make to society, and the scientific research of family businesses.
As one of the first university-based centers of its kind, the CFEC remains on the cutting edge of family business education and research and has played a critical role in serving family businesses and furthering economic development. Clearly, family ties can make business strong. But they can also make business more complicated.
It was fortunate the students were able to take an afternoon out from their busy schedule to visit us for a luncheon at Backworth Stud, as well as a broad stroke introduction to the Thoroughbred Breeding Industry!
Wishing these students the best of luck with their studies!
Backworth Stud welcomed the extended De Clerck and Bouckaert families to a luncheon this past weekend, where we all able to share our mutual interest in ‘the horses’, but across a range of disciplines.
Interestingly, Carl Bouckaert competed in the 2012 London Olympics in individual eventing as a member of the Belgian Equestrian Three Day Eventing Team. Michael and Nathalie Pollard, both international event riders and profiled equestrian personalities, own Chatsworth Stud and Pollard Eventing in Georgia, USA. Jan and Martine De Clerck are involved in Lippizaner Stallions and Carriage Driving in Belgium.
An enjoyable July Midlands day was had by all!
We shared a lovely May day with friends on Sunday. Pictured above are myself, Chris Tyson and Landon Tyson Cunningham, Katie McElligott, Mario Rodrigues, Richard McElligott, Trui Wollecamp, Keith, Helen Colle, Stephan Colle, Rise Again and her Miesque’s Approval colt foal, Andrew Irvine, Gavin Cunningham and Anne Colle.
Keith and I welcomed movie mogul Anant Singh and family to Backworth for a ‘long overdue relax’ over the Easter weekend.
Anant has been running to a hectic international schedule; producing Nelson Mandela’s ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ movie which is due for release later in the year.
Anant and Vanashree enjoy a successful racing association with Barry Irwin of Team Valor International (part-owner of this past weekend’s Dubai World Cup winner, Animal Kingdom) and have been stalwart Backworth-bred supporters over the years.
The weather this week in KwaZulu-Natal was just beautiful and Backworth is looking quite magnificent at this time of year - not to mention our National Yearling Sales draft which are looking really good too!
3A Racing is arguably South Africa’s most youthful and vibrant racing syndicate focussing not just on racing and betting but on the social aspect of this fantastic sport too. Wesley’s grandfather was a bookmaker and two of his uncles, Mark and Brett Bowman, are still in the bookmaking game today, but he and Andrew got involved in racing at the age of 13 when a friend’s father invited them to the race track. “We started going to racing on a regular basis, we were lighties - 15 years old - and then we put together a syndicate about four years ago; it just went from there,” says Wesley. “There were just four of us originally, but when people saw us going to the races, suddenly we started growing. We’re now a big bunch of guys and we’re having to turn people away.”
Also visiting were Mary Liley with brother and sister in law Peter and Jenny from the UK, Tony and Sharon Rivalland, Kevin and Alyson Wright, Wendy Whitehead and son Damon, as well as Wendy’s friend Trish Knott and daughter Megan.
We were treated to guest appearances from future Backworth stars; Aquinata (Silvano - Tsunami), Style Flash (Miesque’s Approval - Ramp Model) and Cold Fact (Western Winter - Auburn Annio) to metion a few, before their departure for the 2013 National Yearling Sales in April.