Mick Goss On The Mend

Summerhill boss on the road to recovery

Mick Goss

Mick Goss

After industry and in fact world-wide concern after the news broke earlier this year that Summerhill boss, Mick Goss, had been unwell, the Sporting Post caught up with him by phone earlier this week and we are pleased to report that he is well on the road to recovery and sounding as strong and determined as ever.

Mick and Cheryl travelled to Mumbai for the 36th Asian Racing Conference at the end of January 2016, where Mick treated the assembly to a tour de force in defence and promotion of the South African racing and breeding industry (click below to hear his full address).

 

On his return, Mick was diagnosed with a gastro intestinal condition called Crohn’s disease, which he suspects he contracted in India. “I’m usually pretty disciplined, but there is always the temptation to put your bloody toothbrush under a tap or something and I must have just let my guard down,” he says ruefully.

Flood of Support

The industry was shocked to hear that Mick had been hospitalised for treatment and the messages of support streamed in. “Racing’s a tough game, let me tell you. People don’t like it when you win and second sucks, but when it comes to compassion and concern, there’s no game like it. I’ve been not only overwhelmed, but often overcome by the generosity of people. Instead of going straight home after Champions Day, Markus Jooste flew to Maritzburg and came and spent the night here on Sunday. I’ve had calls from all over the world – Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, most of Europe. I’ve had messages from M.V. Magnier, David Nagel, Paul Shanahan, Cyrus Poonawalla, Bruce & Jo Gardner flew down to come and say hello, Alesh Naidoo and Charles Laird, you name it. Frank Freeman and I have been mates all our lives. He got on an aeroplane and then hired a car and drove all the bloody way up here just to say hello and have lunch with me – can you believe it? Most people know now I’m not going to hell, but more than a few thought I wasn’t going to end up back here, let me tell you,” he laughs. “But listen, I was born in Lusikisiki, not the big city. We grow up with a different kind of constitution and the survival instinct is there!”

While the Crohn’s is now under control, the enforced rest has caused an additional set back in deep vein thrombosis, which Mick is undergoing treatment for, but once that is sorted out, he assures us it will be business as usual. “It’s actually getting a bit embarrassing now. If it wasn’t for these DVTs I’d be back at the office. I’m getting stronger every day and am hoping to be back as soon as these legs are fine.”

Standing guard

“You know I was banned from the office for 6 weeks?” he says sounding aggrieved. “My GP lives in Hillcrest and he knows everything that happens on the farm, so I’ve got a lot of sentries out there,” he says conspiratorially. “Instead of going to the office, the office came here. I’ve had to break a few rules, but I can see the whole farm from up here and my staff have been wonderful, so it’s not been too bad.”

Part of ‘breaking a few rules’ has included preparing for the Premier Mare and Weanling Sale which will be hosted at Summerhill on Sunday, 15 May and Mick is characteristically enthused. “It’s been years since we’ve seen a dispersal like this and worth a thought that great breeders including the likes of the Aga Khan, Graham Beck, Jim Redman and Brian Moore got started by cherry picking from dispersals like this. Many of the mares are being offered in foal to Linngari – and he needs no introduction – with a free return to selected mares.” It is exactly the sort of challenge that gets Mick’s juices flowing and one can almost hear his mental cogs turning as he imagines the possibilities. The sale includes a selection of 84 broodmares and fillies for stud and 21 weanlings and the catalogue can be viewed at 2016 KZN Premier Mare and Weanling Sale

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