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Behind The Scenes At The 2012 Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale Share

The Backworth Stud string at exercise yesterday morning at Suncoast. Image: Candiese Marnewick

The stables at Suncoast were abuzz with activity yesterday with an exciting atmosphere pervading. The yearling strings go out to exercise early in the morning next to the promenade and it is always a moving sight watching the horses marching next to their grooms in uniform - and one much enjoyed by the public who all stop to look, many surprised at the unexpected sight, at the beautiful horses on display which is not a common sight in Durban; making the Suncoast venue ideal in bringing the yearlings to the people.

Behind the scenes, the inspections had begun with the likes of Glen Kotzen, Des Egdes, Wayne Badenhorst, Vaughn Marshall and Dennis Drier seen looking at yearlings. The breeders' preparations of the yearlings continues with horses being groomed, leather haltars wiped and polished, white socks being cleaned and hooves polished - the stables are a flurry of activity and energy.

There are outstanding individuals available this year and we must bear in mind that four of our young sires in KZN had their first winners come off this sale last year - stallions Atso(USA), Carpocrates(USA), Lion Tamer and Mullins Bay(GB).

A good example is Lady de Winter, the first winner for her young sire Lion Tamer. Trained by Wayne Badenhorst, she placed in her first start, won her second start and placed again subsequently; she takes up a position in the Gr 1 Golden Slipper to be run on Vodacom Durban July day over 1400m for R500 000. All this from a filly who passed through the 2011 KZN Yearling Sale ring unsold after failing to reach her reserve of R30 000.

Mike McHardy of Rathmor Stud, breeder of Gypsy's Warning who sold for over R9-million in America last year, says, "I think we have had good interest in the sale this year and the reason for this is the great exposure we have had through Suncoast and the incentive of the R1-million races, I am pleased with the the way the sale is progressing. We have a nice quality draft with a good range of stallions which should appeal to the buyer."

Michele Pickering with Lot 191 from Middlefield, an outstanding looking filly by Carpocrates out of Concordat by National Assembly. Image: Candiese Marnewick   Backworth Stud, Lot 137, Spirada (Surging River x Tsunami by Shaamit). Candiese Marnewick   Grooming and preparation of the yearlings. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Tom Callaghan, CEO of Bloodstock South Africa says, "It has been fairly busy with viewers this week, it's been a hive of activity. The horses are all obviously ready for viewing. It is a unique sale, I don't think there is anything like this in South Africa on the beachfront, it is a different type of sale. A lot of the buyers have said there is quite a lot to do and they have had a lot of fun as they have been able to bring the whole family down with them - that is the sort of comments I have received from buyers this week so far. There are some very nice horses, very good-looking individuals that bode well for a good sale and it has started something very special with the KZN Breeders Million Mile and the Triple Million Challenge. We are in a good position here to start a strong campaign going forward and I have made that clear with the breeders here as well."

Chairman of the KZN Breeders Association, Koos De Klerk is excited about the sale, saying, "There is a lot of interest that we haven't seen before. There is quite a good vibe here, we are seeing people here to buy horses we haven't had before and trainers and owners who won our vouchers given away as prizes at our Golf Day and KZN Breeders Million Mile are here looking to buy horses."

Day 1, the 5 July will see the sale start at 12h00 with Lots 1 – 150 going under the hammer. Day 2 kicks off on 6 July at 12h00 again with Lots 151 – 252. To view the vendor's catalogue with the Lots on offer, click here.

The KZN Breeders have launched the new concept of the Triple Million Challenge which has been enthusiasticly received, and now is the time to take advantage of this fantastic concept and buy a KZN-bred. Subject to terms and conditions, any horse that passes through the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale this year, regardless of where the horse was bred, will be elligible to compete in the KZN Breeders' Cup to be held on Vodacom Durban July day in 2013, for a stake of R1 million.

All horses who qualify as KZN-breds have a burgandy TBA poster on their stable doors.

One of these yearlings that graduate off the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale this year will be an equine millionaire this time next year. Will it be yours?

Glen Kotzen inspecting a yearling from Middlefield Stud - a son of Carpocrates from the immediate family of Link Man and North By Northwest. Image: Candiese Marnewick