Gauteng’s Heversham Park Farm, spanning over 350 acres of scenic land, is offering a tranquil and picturesque home for retired or retiring Grade 1 winning geldings from around South Africa.
Heversham is inviting owners to send their champions to the farm for the establishment of a ‘National Paddock Of Legends’ which will not only offer these horses a compassionate and dignified retirement, but will generate meaningful public interest, respect and preserve the beautiful and historic traditions of thoroughbred racing and potentially create job opportunities.
Kat Riley of Heversham said that their ‘The Paddock’ will be open to all Grade 1 winners and that applications will be considered by a panel.
She said: “Our concept is based on the highly successful ‘Living Legends’ Rest Home in Australia, where legendary Australian and international, retired stars of the track are based in exclusive enclosures including Pakistan Star, Good Ba Ba, Apache Cat, Silent Witness, Prince Of Penzance and Almandin.
“Living Legends provided the setting and atmosphere for people of all ages to meet the famous names of racing in a close and personal way, to touch them and interact with them. In the US, a similar project was launched by Old Friends Equine in Kentucky, although they have a wider scope for acceptance.”
Riley added: “Like Living Legends, we believe that the connection between the community and our racehorse champions should be nurtured and promoted. It is essential that we keep the public in touch with retired track stars. They shouldn’t become obscure and forgotten, but remain easily accessible so that their legacies live on.
“We’ll be establishing tours and visits to Heversham to give the public photo opportunities and chances to get close up with thoroughbred stars. It will bring families in touch with horses, promote gratitude for these well-deserving animals. A culture of love and appreciation for horses will be fostered, which lies at the heart of the hugely successful industry in Australia and is something we in South Africa fall short of. A media and reception centre, where guided visits will commence, functions will be held and videos of the Paddock Legends will be shown, is under construction on the farm.
“We’ve seen the owners of Pocket Power and Rainbow Bridge securing good retirement homes for their champions in recent years and on Gold Cup Day the already legendary Do It Again was paraded to the Hollywoodbets Greyville crowd upon his retirement. We need more names, more track heroes whose greatness should be celebrated and who should be looked after like royalty when their race days are over.”
Heversham will also be following the Living Legends model of serving charities via working with schools, hospitals and retirement homes, and making race day appearances with selected horses.
With the welfare of the horse being the number one priority, geriatric care becomes necessary with older horses and veterinary students will enjoy opportunities for hands-on learning.
The possibility of a Memorial Burial Ground is also being considered.
Owners are invited to mail [email protected] for further information.
*Heversham Park Farm is located in the scenic, unspoilt Daleside Valley, just south of Johannesburg, and is overlooked by the majestic Paardekop. The farm consists of numerous large post and rail paddocks, all of which have natural spring water piped in. The farm has large irrigated and naturally fertilized lucerne and eragrostis lands, enabling them to monitor the quality of the forage supplied to our horses. The water supply comes from a natural spring, which is high in calcium and other minerals, ensuring that all animals that are raised and/or kept on the farm are healthy. Heversham stands Capetown Noir (SAF), Jackson (SAF) and Moofeed (AUS).