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: Summerhill Stallion Day

WORLD RHINO DAY

White Rhino / Lotus Head (p)

White Rhino / Lotus Head (p)

Friday 22 September 2011

Friday 22nd September is World Rhino Day. It's a signal of the sad world we live in, where man's greed has placed one of the most ancient creatures on earth in danger of extinction.

At the Summerhill Stallion Day just over two months ago, it was Hartford's privilege, together with its associates in the Land Of Legends (www.landoflegends.co.za), to bestow upon the greatest rhino conservationist of them all, Dr. Ian Player, an Ingwazi Award, in recognition not only of his tireless (and remarkably successful) efforts to save the rhino, but for what he's done in the upliftment of all our lives in this region, and elsewhere.

World Rhino Day is special for anyone who lives where we do, and has the slightest understanding of the value of balance in the ecological scheme of things.

BJ BOTHA IS BACK

BJ Botha / Keo (p)

BJ Botha / Keo (p)

THE SPRINGBOKS, THE DURBAN JULY AND RACING'S GREATEST DAY OUT

This is not a rugby selector's statement; it comes from a hotelier. World Cup-winning Springbok tighthead prop,Brendan Botha and his lovely wife Tarryn, were back at Hartford again this week after his torrid Tri Nations tour to Australasia. In the peak of health, "BJ" assures us there are only a few small things wrong with the Springbok team at the moment, requiring a few "tweaks", and all will be well. Brendan and Tarryn are among a number of sporting fans of Hartford, including former Springbok rugby captains, Gary Teichmann and Francois Pienaar,coach Jake White, and former Proteas cricket captain, Shaun Pollock. Brendan also has the distinction of being an alumnus of that fine sporting institution, Durban High School, the most prolific school academy in the production of international cricketers in the world, though it has to be said, this man is a rare rugby Springbok.

Closer to home, we have a "horsey" weekend ahead with the greatest of the greatest, the Vodacom Durban July on Saturday, and "Racing's Greatest Day Out", the Summerhill Stallion Day, right here on the farm on Sunday. We'll be feeding close to 700 people from at least 14 different nations this weekend, and looking at Friday evening's guest list at Hartford, apart from the equine contingent, we have the return of one of television's most recognised personalities in Martin Locke, Isidingo's Carolyn Steyn and Vodacom man on the screen, Michael De Pinna, who will be entertained by Waterford's lyrical winemaker, Kevin Arnold. It takes all types to make up a race meeting!

summerhill stud south africa

For more information on the Summerhill Stallion Day please visit :
www.summerhill.co.za

Ardmore Ceramic Art - The Summerhill Collection

summerhill stud ardmore ceramic collection

Summerhill Stallion Day
"The day after the Vodacom Durban July"

What has become as much a tradition as the Vodacom Durban July itself, the annual Summerhill Stallion Day dubbed "Racing's Greatest Day Out", is always a grand occasion where the who's who of racing descend on Summerhill Stud to pay homage to some of Africa's most exciting Thoroughbred Stallion prospects.

Quite fitting then that this year's event will witness the teaming up of two formidable forces in their own fields, in a celebration of excellence and dedication.

South Africa’s premier ceramic studio, Ardmore Ceramic Art, and South Africa’s Champion Thoroughbred Breeder, Summerhill Stud, will unveil an exciting new Ardmore ceramic collection inspired by the horses, people and nature at Summerhill.

The Ardmore artists have created Staffordshire-like everyday farm scenes including Summerhill Stallions walking the lands, yearlings being bandaged, foals being born and Ready to Run graduates galloping to victory.

Most of Ardmore’s 80 artists live in the rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal steeped in tradition, where music, song and dance prevail. After two successful London sales held in 2004 and 2007, Christie’s labeled Ardmore “a modern day collectable”. Collectors around the world love Ardmore’s distinctive style - a fusion of African, Western and Eastern form and design embellished with sculptural African fauna and flora and painted in a kaleidoscope of colour.

Ardmore’s talented artists create with passion and freedom and many have intuitively found their own style. The decorative collectibles have an elegant charm as has the work of the realists who are inspired by nature. The exotic naturalists add an artistic fantasy to their painting. Then, there are the free spirits whose sculpture and painting is expressive of their imagination and is without inhibition or apology. Lastly, the ‘Storytellers’ incorporate the human figure as they sculpt and paint Zulu cultural and social events.

A percentage of Ardmore sales is contributed to The Excellence Fund, a non-profit organization that also receives donations from many people worldwide. The Excellence Fund assists the artists to advance their education and skills training, and provides health care. In the current economic situation marked by rising unemployment and health care costs, the role of the Excellence Fund is critically important.

The artists are proud of their achievements and are known amongst their community as the “isgwili” (fortunate ones).

So if you’re going to be at the Summerhill Stallion Day on Sunday, you’re in for a real treat... where the ceramicists have traded in their zebra stripes for the racing thoroughbred.

THE “REVENGE” SERIES

British & Irish Lions vs Springboks / Lions Rugby/SA Rugby (p)

British & Irish Lions vs Springboks / Lions Rugby/SA Rugby (p)

"IT’S NOT JUST A WINE WEEKEND; THERE’S BIG RUGBY IN THE OFFING"

You’ve already read that the Winery ofGood Hope is bringing one of the world’s celebrated sommeliers Mia Martensson, to one of Africa’s most celebrated restaurants next Saturday evening. There’s been a clamour for places at the inn, and we’re running short of accommodation quickly.

Enough of that though; it’s one of the biggest rugby weekends of the year, as South Africa take on the British Lions on Saturday 19th June at Kings Park in what the media have dubbed the “revenge series”. It was at Kings Park in 1997 that we witnessed the downfall of the Springboks at the hands of that year’s touring Lions, remember.

South Africa’s best morning read, The Witness is one of Hartford’s greatest admirers, and they have not let us down on the eve of this big event. Not only have they booked the hotel out for Friday evening, they’re also bringing with them one of rugby’s most famous television personalities, Dan Retief, who’ll be here to regale us with his stories and his predictions.

We’re sorry this one’s already a sell-out, but for those of you who are Hartford aficionados, we still have just a few places for the Friday evening before the Vodacom July when we’ll be hosting some of racing’s biggest names. That of course is a whole weekend affair which stretches from a wine evening with the fabled Waterford Estate on the Friday, a day in the Summerhill box at the Durban Turf Club’s Greyville racecourse on the Saturday for the “big one”, and then for “Racing's Biggest Day Out”, the Summerhill Stallion Day on the farm, which hosted fourteen different nations in attendance last year. Again, these events require prior booking, as they are invariably sell-outs, so if you’re wanting us to help you avoid the disappointment of missing out, please give us a ring as soon as convenient.

SUMMERHILL STALLION DAY : A True Midlands Festival

The Guard of Honour / Summerhill Stud (p)

The Guard of Honour / Summerhill Stud (p)

The Summerhill Stallion Day was a rousing success, with visitors from across the whole racing world. Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, France, Turkey, Germany, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and the length and breadth of South Africa. In the end, we fed more than 700 people, and we’re almost frightened to look at the booze bill this morning!

The new horses, Mullins Bay, Stronghold and Ravishing were at their brilliant best, and the business undertaken by our stallions booking department through the afternoon was a testament to their class. We know the times are supposedly tough across the economic spectra of the world, but you’d be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about if you’d attended the auction. South Africans have long been known for their generosity, but yesterday the world was here, and they opened their hearts and emptied their pockets in no uncertain manner. This has long been one of the best parties in racing, but Sunday was a spectacle for everyone, and those who won the bidding duels will have their names carved forever upon the bricks at the Al Maktoum School Of Excellence, which will be a work in progress by the time of next year’s Stallion Day. We have some ambitious plans for this school.

In the event, with just one exception, the stallions all made at least their service fees and in some instances, considerably more, a tribute to their quality and a statement on the atmosphere that marked the occasion. By some stretch, this was the biggest price ever for a mangnum of Waterford Cab.

For the record, Stallion Day’s equivalent of Man of the Match, or Underbidder of the Day, went to Highlands Farm's Mike Sharkey who had a crack at both the Muhtafal, the Kahal services, and then underbid on the Waterford Cabernet. He, Marsh Shirtliff and Jet Master’s Devines were all here to celebrate their big day at the Vodacom Durban July where Pocket Power and Dancer’s Daughter chalked up the first deadheat in 41 years.