Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Mike de Kock

Summerhill Sires Film 2013 / 2014

Summerhill Stud
Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Mick Goss Summerhill Group CEO

Mick Goss
Summerhill Group CEO

I have never really been far away from the world of racehorses. In that sense, I am a fully-paid-up member of the "secret society". The racing fraternity gathers each morning on stud farms and at training tracks when normal people are still in bed: it’s a fellowship with its own language and humour, and an unwritten code of rules. Dinner table conversations at home were dominated by horses, and photographs of the noble beasts looked down upon the family from the walls. From the back door of the farmhouse, you smelt soiled straw and fresh hay.

Les Carlyon reminded me that racehorse owners are different. Most of them have an engineer's sense of precision, a mind that gravitates towards the objective and the rational. They like to bring order and reason to complex matters. Horse people are seldom like that. We can be rational and pragmatic too, but we tend to rank those things behind matters of the heart. To be good in our game, you need a touch of the mystic and the artist, which is right enough, because we are in the racehorse business, and racing is seldom scientific. Thoroughbreds do things machines can’t; they're crafted, not manufactured. If you witnessed Brian Joffe’s embrace of Mike de Kock following the Shea Shea massacre in Dubai, you’ll know what I mean. Big deals make big men excited, but racehorses turn big men into little boys.

Watch the video above for a taste of Summerhill Stud.



Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence / Summerhill Stud (p)

Al Maktoum School Of Management Excellence / Summerhill Stud (p)

Winter School Of Excellence
Summerhill Stud, 4 - 6 July 2011

The Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence is the only one of its kind in the World. The first students, representing some of the Nation's top farms, are already ensconced, though for the formal opening, we shall have to wait for the KZN Premier, Dr Zweli Mkhize, to do his thing on Investec Stallion Day, Sunday the 3rd of July. Already, there

are of the order of 17 different countries represented, an indication of the significance of the occasion in the pantheon of the racing industry's great events. The upliftment of people and the opportunity to become what few had ever believed they could, is a crucial element in the future of our business, and this school marks a watershed moment in Racing's distinguished history.

Summerhill Stud has solicited the services of some of the World's leading authorities on their respective specialities for a Winter School, beginning the day after their stallion day, and this column will be providing readers with weekly flashes of what's on offer. A visit to "Winter School of Excellence" will provide you with details right away of the full panel of lecturers, their topics and the programme, but for today's purposes, we're going to focus on the presence of Professor Justin Craig, who heads up the faculty on Entrepreneurship and Family Business at Australia's Bond University. This is a subject that touches almost every one of us, and Professor Craig is one of the World's two authorities on family-run enterprises.

His PhD in Behavioural Science, Masters Degree in Counselling and Psychology Honours Degree all explored challenges faced by individuals involved in either a current or future ownership capacity in a family-controlled business. His subsequent family business and entrepreneurship research, which has examined a wide range of topics including individual valued outcomes that drive behaviour, trans-generational entrepreneurship, strategy, innovation, governance, public policy, branding, and managerial attitudes towards the natural environment, has appeared in leading international academic journals. He leads the entrepreneurship and family business group of scholars and instructors at Bond University and teaches subjects at undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr Craig has also jointly developed Bond University's Executive MBA in Family Business and is engaged with the family business practitioner community through his work with Family Business Australia (FBA), where he has jointly developed and delivers the FBA Family Business Directors' Course and the Strategic Planning for Family Business Leaders Course.

Imagine for a moment, a three-day seminar embracing the world of finance and economics, investment in Thoroughbreds, Mike de Kock on his international escapades, the country's leading exponent on Bio-farming, and any number of the most recognisable figures in our industry, and you soon understand the heading to this column. The Memorial Theatre's capacity is limited though, so if you're an aspirant attendee, please get in touch with Heather Morkel on heather@summerhill.co.za, as soon as you can. There is accommodation available at Hartford House, though the organisers can arrange alternatives in the district once Hartford is fully booked. The daily rate includes a luncheon prepared by Eat Out's Most Popular Restaurant of 2011.