Cape Breeders Bid Farewell To A Special Lady

Memorial: 06 April, Volmoed Stud @ 11h00

A passionate horsewoman and a person who avoided the limelight, longstanding Daytona Stud assistant manager Salomien van Schalkwyk passed away at the age of 47 early on Saturday morning after a brief battle with cancer. She was diagnosed on 15 January.

Few would recognize Salomien as she seldom attended the various sales, preferring to work in the engine room of the famous stud.

“Foals were her speciality and her pride and joy. Salomien had an almost spiritual connection with them, and her insight was enormous. She worked at Daytona for 24 years. She was there when Met winner Bunter Barlow was born and when champion What A Winter first saw the light of day. She was part of our family,” an emotional Gail Barnard told the Sporting Post.

She said that Salomien was an only child and that her parents had passed away some years ago.

“Salomien was genuine old school. Her loyalty and commitment to her job and her beloved horses was something so rare. We were truly blessed to enjoy her love and loyalty for all those years. Her dogs Savanna and Luna were her children. She loved scrap-booking, and was an uncomplicated person who never demanded or expected anything out of life or anybody,” said Gail Barnard.

Salomien van Schalkwyk was the only child of Dawid and Corrien. She spent her childhood in Saldanha Bay, where she attended school.

From a very young age, she decided that horses were her passion.

After matriculating, she studied at Pretoria Technikon and did her practical at Daytona Stud.

She never left until the historic farm closed its doors in 2021.

Recently she was the manager at the Sanne family’s Oldlands Stud for some 18 months.

“For those of us who knew Salomien, she was a rock, strong-willed, humble, and grateful, the epitome of loyalty and steadfastness. Nothing was too much trouble for her, as her response to challenges was always “we’ll make a plan.” She had a boundless heart that always had room for her fellow human beings. The poem ‘Immortality’ by Clare Harner evokes an image of eternity for her, and this is how we will remember her – as an enduring force in the lives of those who knew her,” says Volmoed Stud’s Inel Bekker, who was at Salomien’s side in her last hours.

The name Daytona Stud, which disappeared from our landscape in 2021, evokes fond memories of what feels like a bygone era.

The Ceres farm was managed by part owner Mike Barnard, aand was originally started by Dr Frank Freeman and his family, before being taken over by Arthur Pfaff.

When Arthur passed away, Daytona was taken over by his widow Ingrid.

At the passing of Ingrid, Daytona was purchased by Robin Hamilton and Mike Barnard in 1999.

Mr Hamilton passed away in June 2020.

Daytona has been associated with a number of top class racehorses and champions, but one of the most important horses connected with the farm is the great sire Elliodor.

His greatest son and South Africa’s first equine millionaire was Model Man, whose wins included five at Gr1 level , including the J&B Met, and he went on to become a successful stallion and broodmare sire.

Elliodor left behind 78 stakes winners. Remarkably, this magnificent sire (whose third crop contained just five live foals), was represented by 43 individual Gr1 performers, with his stars including three Gr1 Paddock Stakes winners, as well as Gr1 winners Eldoriza, Forest Trogon, Lord Shirldor and July hero Super Quality.

He was also an outstanding broodmare sire, with his daughters producing the likes of Aslan, Cordocelli, Dog Wood, Kotchka, and Val De Ra- to name but a few.

Other successful sires to have stood at Daytona include Qui Danzig and Sportsworld – both of whose broodmare daughters went on to become extremely successful at stud. The Elliodor/Sportsworld cross became a highly successful one, with the nick producing the likes of stakes winners Gay Regina, Tastevin and Sportscuddle.

The list of outstanding racehorses bred at Daytona is a long one. Two of the farms most famous graduates are Tiza and the star, What A Winter.

Today Mike and Gail Barnard enjoy a very different lifestyle, as part owners of Build-it in Ceres.

“It’s a strange feeling closing up at 17h00 and going home. Horses are a 24/7 commitment. We are enjoying it and Mike continues to coach sport and keeps himself very busy.”

When chatting to the Sporting Post this week, the Barnards had mixed emotions after the passing of their friend and former staffmember, as they travelled to Grahamstown to celebrate their 28 year old son Devin’s wedding on Saturday.

The emotion of the day is not lost on them. The late Salomien spent many years helping Devin with his Afrikaans homework.

Devin Barnard is a teacher at Kingswood College and amidst the joy of his tying the knot on Saturday 6 April in the historic school’s magnificent grounds, there will be many thoughts and fond memories of a special lady called Salomien.

A memorial service will be held at Volmoed Stud at 11h00 on the same day.

Cecile Carreira can be contacted on 083 461 7936 for further information.

Our condolences are extended to Salomien’s family and friends at this very sad time. MHDSRIP.

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