AROUND 150 guests braved a cold, wintery day on Wednesday 29 July, to view a selection of six of proven international sire Oratorio’s weanlings, at Avontuur Estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.
Oratorio, who has sired over 70 individual northern hemisphere black-type performers and 6 international Grade 1 winners, has been standing at stud at Avontuur since early 2013. His first South African book included such illustrious mares Gr 1 winners as River Jetez, Sarabande, Bambina Stripes and Outcome, with Equus Sprinter of the Year Val de Ra included in the list for 2014.
Michael Taberer with the guest of honour himself, Oratorio, and his groom Berthwell Arosi.
Four colts,(Out of Fine Wood, Model IQ, Sea of Calm and Varsity Queen) and two fillies (Out of Mochachino and Viva La Belle) were paraded and were commended on their looks and also for being so well-behaved on this, their first public outing. They were led in by the popular Miss Frankel (Frankel x Val de Ra), who once again showed that her star quality by wowing the crowds with her personality and assurance.
Pippa Mickleburgh, Avontuur GM entertained everyone by telling the “hit-and-miss” story of Oratorio’s purchase and how quick action on the part of the local team ensured that this valuable sire could stand in South Africa and assist with improving SA’s stock.
The weanling parade was preceded by a viewing of Avontuur’s highly regarded sire Var, and obviously Oratorio himself who was in fine fettle and a picture of contentment after a few years at the Thoroughbred Farm.
Avontuur Estate owner, Michael Taberer thanked the racing and breeding industry for their support over the years, and commented that he was very positive about the future of the “sport of kings” in South Africa as more and more of our horses and trainers were competing internationally and making a really good showing.
After the viewings guests retired to the Avontuur Restaurant for a farm feast and award-winning wines, and enjoyed socialising till late.