Home » Racing & Sport » News » J&B Met Winner Going Strong At 20

J&B Met Winner Going Strong At 20

Catching Up With Angus

Angus wins the 2003 J&B Met (photo: Gold Circle)

The Plattner family are well known for their stance on conservation and animal welfare and are no different when it comes to their racehorses. Many are retired to their farm in George, including 2013 J&B Met winner Martial Eagle.

“I have to say, Yogas did an amazing job with him,” says Tina Plattner. The horse had all sorts of soundness issues and was basically ready to be retired. Yogas took his time, sent him to the beach every day for ages before bringing him back into work really slowly. His feet got better and the physio got his back sorted out – he really did an amazing job with that horse.” She explains that after his fantastic Met victory, Martial Eagle was retired and used as a lead pony for a while, but his back issues continued to bother him. “We decided it would be better for him to be with his buddies in a paddock, so he is retired on the farm in George.”

However, what many people don’t know is that their 2003 Met winner, Angus, is still going strong at 20 years old and has had a long, happy and healthy second career as a riding horse for Mrs Plattner’s daughter, Tina.

Special horse

Tina and Angus (Photography by Jessica Röll)

Tina and Angus enjoy a beach outing (Photography by Jessica Röll)

Angus finished 3rd in the 2002 J&B Met and 2nd to Ipi Tombe in the 2002 Vodacom July, before his magnificent J&B Met win in 2003.  But Tina first fell in love with Angus at the Snaith yard.

“Right in the beginning of his baby career, he was with Justin before he went to Brett Crawford. I used to ride track work back in the day, although that was many, many moons ago,” she laughs. “I rode him a lot as a 2 and 3yo and just fell in love with him. At some point he got too strong for me, and then obviously went on to become this amazing racehorse, but I always said if he never goes to stud and gets gelded, I would keep him. And that’s how he ended up with me!” she beams.

“I mainly hacked him out and inbetween took him to a few jumping shows. He turned 20 last year and is still sound as a bell. We’re still hacking out regularly and he still has a major buck on him,” she warns.

Asked for her recollection of Angus’ big win she remembers, “It’s completely hard to believe. You scream them home and then it’s like ‘holy cow, we actually made it’, and then pushing through the masses to get to the winner’s enclosure. I remember he was standing there with about a million people all around him. I gave him the biggest hug and he just stood there like ‘I’ve just won the Met, but I don’t mind you crazy person hugging me.’ It was one of the biggest nights of my life – I think I got home at 7am the next morning!”

Second career

Tina and Angus (Photography by Jessica Röll)

Special horse (Photography by Jessica Röll)

Tina stables Angus and the rest of her string at Mistico outside Paarl. “It’s a good 45 minute drive – when there’s no traffic – but the facilities are really nice. The paddocks are big and my horses are all out in a big paddock together and really happy there. It’s worth the drive.”

Angus is still the boss of the paddock and knows he holds a very special place in Tina’s heart. “He’s got lots of personality and is very strict on what you are or are not allowed to do. He’s not the type of horse you can go up to and cuddle the whole day like some horses. He’s too much of a man for that, but he’s very sweet – he won’t kick or bite – but he will tell you whether he wants to do something or not. So when we go riding, I just say OK Angus, you can decide if we’re cantering today and for how long. In the stable he can be really reserved and puts his bum to the door if he doesn’t want to talk to you, but other days, he’s got his head out and his ears pricked and loves attention. He also loves having his bum and the side of his tail tickled – Bernard Fayd’herbe taught him that.”

Still a star

“People still recognise him at shows and even at the stables,” says Tina. “He’s just this amazing character and he still knows he’s a superstar. When he’s in his stable and I tell people that’s Angus, they all say, ‘Is that THE Angus? Oh wow, I didn’t know he was still around,’ and he’ll prick his ears and puff himself up to say ‘yes, and I deserve a carrot!’”

“Just about everyone I know seems to have had money on him in the Met – either that, or they make up the story in front of me!” she laughs. “I’ve even been approached by some of the overseas farriers when they come over to do seminars who say they remember seeing him on TV winning the Met. Sue Snaith came to see him not so long ago and couldn’t believe he was still dappled and doing so well.”

Racehorses eat carrots too! (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

Tina and Krambambuli (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

And it seems she might be adding another horse to her collection soon, the lovely Krambambuli, who finished 5 lengths off Oh Susanna in this year’s Met. “I wasn’t actually planning on having another one, but I’ve ridden him two or three times now and Justin said to me, ‘You do know we’re not going to find him a home – he’s coming to you,’ so I’ve gone to my barn manager and asked them to keep me another stable,” she smiles.

Have Your Say

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages everyone to feel free to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that The Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their real and verified names, you can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the Editor. The Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

The views of any individuals that are published are NOT necessarily the views of The Sporting Post.

2 comments on “J&B Met Winner Going Strong At 20

  1. Debbie says:

    It so nice to hear that these horses are being looked after when they finish racing as there are so many horror stories, so thank you and suggest you get a “bigger barn” then you can take on more. I have a retired racehorse who is turning 29 and loves her outrides so if looked after properly they will be around for many years.

    1. Robyn Louw says:

      Debbie, there are a lot more lovely stories than you might think. Senor Santa lived out his days at Summerhill Stud (who also have Pierre Jourdan as a yearling nanny), Highlands have Free My Heart (doing well at age 22) and his sire, Jallad passed last year at the age of 29. Winter Solstice lived out his days at Drakenstein Stud, Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein have many of their retired champions as nannies to their yearlings (Shea Shea and Kavanagh amongst others). Lammerskraal Stud also have a number of their good horses retired to the farm as lead horses including Jagged Ice who helps lead out the babies, Veronica Foulkes has Bravura at Normandy Stud, Variety Club is retired at Klawervlei (as is Pablo Zeta), and the Woodruff family had El Picha until he passed away at the age of 22 back in 2016. Pocket Power is retired to Hemel ‘n Aarde stud and jockey Glen Hatt has his last Gold Cup winner, Wavin’ Flag as a family riding horse. The connections who owned Imbongi ensured that he came back to South Africa after his international campaign and one of his owners, Michael Fleischer even learned to ride so that he could have Imbongi as a riding horse (although Imbongi is now being campaigned by a young girl). The owners of Something Else have also sponsored him throughout his retirement, Alyson Wright has Kochka as a show-jumper, Rocket Man was flown all the way back from Singapore to retire out at Far End Farm, JJ The Jet Plane is happily retired in KZN and Ivory Trail is retired out at Soetendal. The Fenix’s still have their 1996 Met winner, La Fabulous as well as Copper Parade, amongst others. Cordocelli retired to Nutfield Stud, July winner Heavy Metal is now training up to be an eventer and Snaith Stars Run For It and Jet Explorer are both retired to a lovely hack home in Tokai. John Finlayson’s star sprinter November Rain is an eventer in Joburg and John still owns and sponsors him in his second career, Colin Hallby’s ex Mike de Kock star Safwan won Eventing Champs in 2016 and Tommy Hotspur is still going strong in retirement at the age of 26. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but there are lots of really great stories out there!

Leave a Comment

‹ Previous

BSA And Emperors Palace Forge Ties

Next ›

Barry Irwin (hamishNIVENPhotography)

Barry Irwin Reflects

Popular Posts