Bush Hill Stud staff will be making history at the Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, when they will be selling their first horse on auction, a handsome grey colt by Judpot.
Warwick and Karin Render of Mooi River, KZN purchased Lot 336, named One Kiss, as a weanling and donated him to their staff at Bush Hill to prepare for the yearling sale. Although this is a private initiative by the farm, it is part of a greater drive by the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of SA, to encourage transformation at all levels within the stud farm industry. “This gives our staff equity in the business and a tangible stake in the results from a sale”, says Warwick.
Preparing yearlings for auction sales is a very hands-on, intensive process, as the young horses require a lot of attention, grooming and handling so that they are well-presented and perfectly turned out. The stud grooms are the front line in raising and handling these young Thoroughbreds and are usually the first to spot any problems or injuries that may occur.
“Our staff work incredibly hard, year-round, but particularly in the run up to a sale when day to day running of the stud farm must continue but getting our yearlings ready to show them at their best, becomes a priority. Giving our team their own horse means that they too have a vested interest in the preparation and outcomes, rather than just being participants. They get to experience the real results of buying and selling yearlings and we hope that the upside to this endeavour is that they will have equity to further invest in bloodstock, and will have learnt more about how the business works”, emphasises Warwick.
Catherine Hartley, CEO of the TBA added: “These initiatives driven by the stud farms are vital to the ongoing success of our industry and our transformation goals. We are also on a continued drive to upskill staff and formalise accredited training across our breeding industry. As the association, we encourage the stud farms to participate, offering their staff a chance to gain knowledge and qualifications, especially since many are situated in rural areas with limited access to further education.
As an add-on the training, a grooms’ co-operative scheme was introduced for staff who have successfully passed the first three training modules. These co-ops apply for funding through the DTI and Small Business Development in order to pursue their own business endeavours such as buying weanlings to sell as yearlings or mares to produce their own foals. Mentorship and guidance is provided by the industry but the long-term objective is to enable our stud staff to be more fully vested in the industry and the outcomes.”
The colt is out of Caesour mare Akississtillakiss, from the incredible dam-line of At The Savoy, Horatio, Harry Hotspur and Gang Related, as well as Mason Dixon and Kiss Me Quick.