Onamission’s Open Day

MORE than 35 people attended Mathew de Kock’s Onamission Syndicate’s Open Morning at Randjesfontein on a chilly Father’s Day, last Sunday.

There are well over 100 shareholders in the Syndicate’s four horses Puget Sound, Elbi, Arminius and Majestic Thunder, many of them holding only a 1% share, but this was a good turnout of mostly young individuals considering that several shareholders are based overseas.

Mathew de Kock: "We want to give shareholders something special."

Mathew de Kock: “We want to give shareholders something special.”

We’ve written a number of times about about syndicates being a way of attracting new blood into racing and Mathew de Kock said: “The concept has worked, and we’ve met any number of wonderful people as this turnout shows.

“We’ve given the shareholders a chance of seeing what goes on behind the scenes, and many of them have come racing over the last two years. Our Open days include breakfast and a stable visit, we’ve tried to make things special for them,” said Mathew.

Horses make humans affectionate.

Horses make humans affectionate.

Onamission has enjoyed six wins in two years with Puget Sound and Elbi, while the stable quickly found the disappointing St Etienne another home. There has been a big crossover of shareholders between the first three and the following two, Arminius (Vercingetorix) and Majestic Thunder (Mambo In Seattle).

Mike de Kock said: “We’ve learnt a few things with Mathew’s Syndicate, not least of all that there is still a lively interest in racing among all people, young and old. One just has to reach them and get them involved.

“I do think, however, that we’ll be focusing more on horses from the Ready To Run sale and also horses in training so that shareholders don’t have to wait that long for a runner. We live in a world where instant gratification is key, we can never do it with horses but we can make the process shorter.”

Syndicate manager Chase Liebenberg said that more than 50% of shareholders have come from social media: “We run a website, twitter and facebook and there are always queries coming in, the more we promote it, the more queries we get. The other 50% comes from existing stable patrons, friends of friends or word of mouth. The concept works, and we are encouraged by the participation of young people.”

Avid syndicate member Dorette Turner won herself a share of two-year-old filly Wild N Grey, donated by owner Charles Savage. See www.onamissionracing.co.za

Photos by Chase Liebenberg.