Pinnacle For John Everett

The Story Behind Pinnacle Peak

John Everett (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

John Everett (photo: hamishNIVENPhotography)

Narrow Creek Stud’s John Everett is the very proud and very excited breeder of Pinnacle Peak, the winner of the Gr3 Man O’ War Sprint on Saturday, 7 April 2018.

With Pinnacle Peak winning at odds of 22-1 and outgunning the likes of 14-10 favourite Mustaaqeem from the Mike de Kock yard, it’s one of racing’s feel good stories.

John Everett relates that the colt was purchased off the farm after John Finlayson fell in love with him on an early morning walk.

“John came to visit me on the farm,” says Everett. “He loves taking a walk early in the morning and fell in love with this colt out in the field and offered to buy him off the farm. I said ‘No John, you’re here to visit, not to buy horses’, but at the end of his visit, John lefts a note with his offer. Over the next month he kept calling and asking about him and eventually the deal was done.”

2018 Gr3 Man O’War Sprint

Pinnacle Peak in winning form (photo:  JC Photos)

Finlayson has been a stalwart owner and is well know for his generosity as well as his firm commitment to looking after his horses beyond the track and referring to the Sprint win, John says warmly, “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”

Asked for the story behind Pinnacle Peak, Everett is quick to deflect the praise and admit that he bought the mare in foal, but says he made the purchase because he has been behind the stallion from day one. “I love Querari and anything I could get, I grabbed.”

John confirms that Pinnacle Peak was Pinnaquin’s last foal and that she died before producing anything to follow, but says it with the grace and acceptance of one long used to the heartache of the breeding business.

The Querari’s are known for being full of character and John says that Pinnacle Peak always had something about him. “They say all good women have a bit of attitude and the Querari’s are like that,” he quips.  “This horse was easy to like – although I’m not saying that that’s why John chose him – but there was always something special about him.”

Special Owner

Arianos Shadow produces a double (photo: Gold Circle)

Finlayson has shown his characteristic patience and faith in his horse – as well as trainer Dorrie Sham – as Pinnacle Peak has not been without his challenges, but it all paid dividends on last Saturday with a solid 2.2 length victory under Craig Zackey and Everett says warmly “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.”

But wait, there’s more! The stud celebrated a weekend double when Arianos Shadow (Querari – Counting Gold) flew home in the Sentinel Stakes on Sunday, 8 April for the Gavin van Zyl yard.

Narrow Creek Stud

John Everett started Narrow Creek Stud in Wolseley in May 2011. “I was always going to be partially boarding and having part my own and I’ve got it to about 50/50 at the moment. Wolseley is very central to all the Cape stallions. It’s lovely – we’re surrounded by orchards and vineyards. It’s very close to Ceres, where I spent a lot of time working at Odessa and I’ve always liked the area for horses. I must have looked at 40 farms – this was the first one I looked at and eventually went back and bought it.”

John was born in Cape Town, but grew up in Northern Natal and the racing bug bit thanks to his father, who used to take him racing Greyville. “It’s a difficult business to get into if you don’t have any contacts, so after many many phone calls, Lawrence Allem asked me to come for an interview. I said I’m not driving all the way to Viljoenskroon for an interview, but would come for a month’s trial and if he didn’t like me after that, then fine. About a year later we finally discussed my package,” he chuckles.

“About 3 years later, we were boarding a horse at Lionel Cohen and he offered me a job. I discussed it with Lawrence and we agreed it was the right thing for me to move on to a bigger farm and I was with Odessa for 9 years. I had a little break and then I worked at Wilgerbosdrift for 7 years and then bought my own place.”

John and his wife Renee run Narrow Creek Stud and Kennels and in addition to John’s son, the couple have two daughters – one 5 and the other 2 years old. “So I’ve still got a long haul and need plenty more group winners to get them through school!” he quips.

Narrow Creek are consigning drafts to both the forthcoming CTS April Yearling Sale as well as the 2018 BSA National Yearling Sale. “We’re a small stud, so I had to split the draft,” he explains.

2018 CTS April Yearling Sale

CTS April Yearling Sale Lot 97 -

CTS April Yearling Sale Lot 97 – Whisky Train (Flower Alley – Fair Enough)

Of his 11-strong CTS draft, he highlights Lot 97, Whisky Train (Flower Alley – Fair Enough), which is a half brother to KZN Fillies Guineas winner, Maybe Yes); Lot 101, Jack In The Box (Jackson – For Rosalind) is a half brother to Magnolia Handicap and Charity Mile winner, Fair Rosalind; Lot 309, Ring Of Fire (What A Winter – Hot Ember) from the family of Light The Lights and Lot 216 Fever (Elusive Fort – Tramps) as being very nice colts and also picks out 308 Miss Honey (Pathfork – Honey Bun) as a very nice filly.

2018 BSA National Yearling Sale

2018 BSA NYS Lot 237

2018 BSA NYS Lot 237 – Ferrari Red (Querari – Redeem My Heart)

John is taking 8 yearlings to Nationals, including 4 Querari’s that he is very proud of. Lot 237 is Ferrari Red (Querari – Redeem My Heart), a half sister to Elusive Heart. Lot 489 is a magnificent What A Winter colt out of Miss Cuequita, an imported mare loaded with black type.

Lot 180, Tears In Heaven, is a Querari filly out of Just so (a half sister to KRA Fillies Guineas winner, Maybe Yes) who John says has a lot of quality and lastly he highlights Lot 22, Intombi, a Dynasty filly out of Rydethecreek, making her a full sister to KRA Fillies Guineas winner, Alexis. “She was a late foal, so she’s a bit immature and the sale is probably a bit soon, but you’ve got to sell. She should be an interesting prospect for breeders in particular.”

Asked to name his highlights to date, John says, “All group winners are special, but I bred a horse called African Appeal that was very nice. He was bred under Odessa’s name, but it was out of my mare. I think the highlights are just being in the industry. It’s a tough old game, but none of us could wake up in the morning and not look at horses outside our window.” Venturing out on your own is daunting, but John says cheerfully, “It’s just worked. I was a bit nervous whether it was going to come off or not, but touch wood so far I can’t necessarily say it’s worked, but it is working. I’m enjoying life and get to spend it with horses.”

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