A Legend Turned 91 On Friday

Over seven decades in racing!

Ormond Ferraris

A younger Ormond Ferraris

One of South Africa’s greatest trainers, Ormond Ferraris celebrated a grand 91st birthday on Friday with his family in Plettenberg Bay.

Mr Ferraris took out his trainer’s licence in 1952 and retired in May 2019.

There was hardly a race on SA soil that he didn’t win,  but he had particular success with the SA Oaks and SA Derby. He won the Oaks an extraordinary ten times and the Derby eight times.

In 2016 Mr Ferraris trained his 2500th winner when Romany Prince won the Listed Drum Star Handicap.

He was honoured on Saturday 14 March when the Listed Ormond Ferraris Oaks Trial was run over 2000m at Turffontein.The race, won by SA Oaks prospect Ipso Facto, was named after the legend in recognition of his incredible achievements as a trainer over so many decades.

His last SA Oaks winner was Cherry On The Top in 2013. Owned by Bridget Oppenheimer, the daughter of Tiger Ridge scooped the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara with that win.

Charl Pretorius wrote the Ormond Ferraris biography Thoroughly in 2022. Certainly worth a read!

Mr Ferraris and son David work on the biography



Mr Ferraris’ son David was a four-time champion trainer in South Africa before spending eighteen seasons in Hong Kong before a sudden retirement in 2021.

Mr Ferraris’ Grandson Luke was a dual South African champion apprentice with a top notch record of five Gr1 winners before deciding to ply his trade in Hong Kong in 2021.

A proud dynasty!

Best wishes from all of us at the Sporting Post.

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