MATHEW de Kock celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday night during a function held with family and friends in Fourways, Johannesburg.
The headline photo of young Mathew on horseback was taken from a montage of old and new snap shots of Matt presented on a screen by his aunt Lauren and which drew lots of cheers from the appreciative partygoers.
Mike, in an emotional speech, told that Mathew had been a model son to him and Diane, spoke of his caring nature and his love for his sister, Kirsten.
Mike also reminded everyone that his son had given up a career in golf to join the stable as an assistant trainer. Mathew, like his dad, is a born horseman. “Mathew had earned a golf scholarship in the US but when I sat him down he said, ‘Dad, I want to be in racing!’, and that’s where it started. He became an assistant trainer and he hasn’t looked back. He is a very good horseman in his own right and he is growing in stature.”
Recently back from the UK where he completed a course at the National Stud, Mathew said that he had acquired an immense amount of knowledge. “Every day I learnt something I never knew. We think we know all about horses, but we don’t!”
Guests at the dinner, which soon turned into a celebratory rave that rocked way into the early hours of Sunday morning, included both Mathew’s grandma’s, Anne and Jean, a host of his friends, stable employees, jockeys and trainers.
Mikedekockracing.com wishes Mathew heaps of success and happiness in the years ahead. Happy 21st!
The birthday boy speeches.
A belly dancer gets the party started.
Mathew and girlfriend Monique Mansour enjoy chirps from the MC, Andrew de Kock.
Mike de Kock and Jessica Slack.
Liz Ladeira, Ann Casey and Diane de Kock.
Amber and Heather Morkel.
Diane with Derrick David and Tshwaro Appie.
Adam (front) and Dexter Azzie.
Kirsten de Kock and Mariette Coleman.
Another blast from the past: Young Mathew as Superman.