MIKE was asked to open Summerhill Stud’s Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence at the Mooi Rivier farm last week. The School is a realization of one of Mick Goss’ biggest dreams and another milestone for South Africa’s Champion Breeders.
At the launch of the project in January 2009, Mick said: “Every day history is being made, big or small” and while this piece of history took two years to complete, it will be serving the racing industry long after the guests attending the opening ceremony have passed on.
“The one striking similarity between Mick Goss and the Maktoum family of Dubai is their commitment to excellence and this marvelous facility is very aptly named,” said Mike in his opening speech.
Education is Mick Goss’ “other” big passion and he set out to establish an institution of which all its scholars, its donors and educators could be proud.
The school represents a number of things. In the first instance, the idea was to honour the contribution of the late Sheikh Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, not only to Summerhill, but also to KwaZulu Natal and South Africa. Secondly, it would serve as a rallying point for all farms and lovers of racing, where social consciences could meet on the one idea on which there could be no argument. The world needs education in horses, but no country in the world needs it more than South Africa. This is the noblest way we could spend our money, and we’re quickly getting there.
Scholars at the School of Management will be skilled in a wide variety of aspects pertaining to horses and racing including Practical Horsemanship, Nutrition, Veterinary and Farriery through to Racehorse Training, Stallion Management, Pasture Management and Equine Dentistry. Attention will also be given to Enterprise Development and Life Skills. A Grooms School will be run in parallel with the Management course.
Mike said: “South Africans are a sought after commodity in world racing and here we have a world-class facility that is ready to produce a greater number of highly skilled horseman en horsewomen. It’s a wonderful achievement for Summerhill and South Africa.”
He praised Mick Goss with a quote attributed to Albert Einstein and concluded: “Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men. Mick and Cheryl Goss’s service to their home community and the racing industry serves to illustrate Einstein’s wise words.”