“I’d like to pay compliments on my blog this month to people who are making a difference in our racing industry,” writes Mike de Kock.
Vercingetorix’s win in the KRA Guineas was not only a delight to our stable last Saturday, but also to members of the Riverside Co-Op, one of 10 Co-Ops in the Grooms Co-Operative Scheme which forms part of the Thoroughbred Industry Transformation Programme.
If you don’t know, it was the Riverside Co-Op who “found” Vercingetorix on Klawervlei farm, bought him as a weanling for R200,000 and sold him to us at the 2011 Emperors National Yearling Sale via Riverton Stud, putting R1,4-million in their bank account.
The Grooms Co-Op was developed in 2010 by Adrian Todd, who is now COO of Cape Thoroughbred Sales (CTS) and implemented over the last few years in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Cape Breeders Club and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
In short, the DTI in 2010 made an amount of R3,5-million available to the Transformation Programme and the funds were allocated in ten packages of R350,000 to groups of grooms who would be partnered in the individual co-ops.
Deserving grooms (long service, outstanding record, etc), were nominated by stud farms and it was decided to restrict each co-op to seven members so that their chances of making money from the co-op would be maximised.
Todd was charged with the task of making each Co-Op as profitable for their members as possible and he told me at the weekend that all ten are still cash-positive. Os noted, the Riverside Co-Op has generated a considerable amount of money now and its members recently received R50,000 each as their first profit share.
Adrian says that all co-ops were advised that they would have to wait three years for their investments to come to fruition so that enough time could be spent finding them the right thoroughbred investments at the right prices.
In acquiring Vercingetorix, Adrian and John Kramer were assisted at Klawervlei by John Koster and his team, who gave them a quality selection to choose from. Adrian says: “John Kramer and I loved Vercingetorix as a weanling and it’s been a wonderful experience following his progress. We’ve also since bought the Riverside Co-Op a mare from the family of the Gr1 winner Shadow Dancing and stallions shares in Gimmethegreenlight, who is standing at Varsfontein Stud.”
Adrian was assisted in this venture by Donald Mabusela and Thami Klaassen of the DTI, while Abraham Carelse is the Chairman of Riverside Co-Op and Duncan Barryof Riverton Stud raised Vercingetorix and drafted him into the 2011 National Sale. Well done to all of them for making a recognisable difference to the lives of people who work very hard in the engine rooms of the industry and rarely get a chance to secure some extra cash for efforts.
As it happened, the latest Work Riders Championship came to an end on Saturday at Turffontein on the same day that the Riverside Co-Op got their first Grade 2 winner.
Francis Semela, who works for us at Randjesfontein, won R25,000 for being the leading rider. With hard work and dedication, Francis is picking up where the late Abram Makhubo left off. Congratulations Francis and well done again to James Maree who takes grooms through his school at the Work Riders Academy!