Home » Profiles » Happy Birthday Barend!

Happy Birthday Barend!

Turning 52 on Christmas Day

Nobody ever remembers charismatic Vaal trainer Barend Botes’ birthday.

So we thought we’d go out of our way this year to make it a special one for the man they call ‘Mr Fixit’ and who came within a heartbeat of winning the WSB Gr1 Gauteng Summer Cup late last month with a 7yo patched up retread – that description said with the utmost respect!

Barend turns 52 on Christmas Day, and with a lot more important things going on in most homes, he tends to miss out.

Barend Botes – colourful and charismatic (Pic – JC Photos)

“Look, it doesn’t bother me – I’m happy to take a backseat,”he laughs as he says it is no secret that he is a person who prefers the company of horses to people most days, anyway.

“That’s just me – I work and I sleep – and I sleep and I work. My time is with my horses, not making small talk and smiling. My business is getting my horses fit and well and ready to do their best on the racetrack. I will leave the marketing up to the experts,”says the man who joined the SA Jockey Academy in the same vintage intake as Weichong Marwing and Johnny Geroudis.

Barend’s son Brandon Nicolas Botes – the Nicolas is after his famous Granddad trainer Nic van Tonder – has just recently returned from Australia, and the 26 year old is going to be assisting his Dad with marketing and getting his name out there. They are also hoping to secure a sponsorship from Clocking The Gallop, to lift their profile.

Barend trains in partnership with Yolandie Vosloo out at the Vaal where their 25 strong string is made up of yearlings and around ten horses who are actually fit and racing.

His skills are clearly in the domain of second-hand horses, where personal attention, love and patience gets lengths more out of many of them.

“You know, it’s just my personality that I have to make a study out of everything. I research horse soundness issues, for example. I will spend hours on it and take the care and time myself. Any problems, I get to the bottom of – it’s easy to just pass issues on to a Vet. I prefer to understand everything intimately. Maybe there is a word for the condition,” he laughs.

“Barend is a magician,”declared Andre van Schaik, part owner of the 7yo Summer Cup third-placer Golden Pheasant.

The raw statistics do not lie – Golden Pheasant has had 5 starts under the Botes banner, which produced 1 win, 3 seconds and a third cheque in the Highveld’s flagship Gr1 race!

The hardknocking 7yo  Golden Pheasant (Pic- JC Photos)

“I believe Barend deserves much more support than he gets. He can train and nurture nearly any horse,”says a pleased Van Schaik.

The Golden Pheasant story in a nutshell is that he started his racing career on 7 June 2017 with trainer Darryl Moore in KZN. On 5 January 2019 he bled and got suspended for 3 months. On 14 April 2019 he had his first run after his suspension for bleeding, and he bled again and got suspended again.

They then put him out on a farm, and he started racing for Corne Spies during the period 1 October 2020 until 13 February 2021.

He was then sold and transferred to Montana Turner in Gqeberha. He had 1 start for her on 19 March 2021.

Andre van Schaik then bought him and he was moved to Jacques Strydom, where he didn’t race.

“I decided to buy Jacques Strydom out and I moved him to Barend Botes, who was then his fifth trainer,”adds the Europe-based owner.

The rest as they say is history and per mid-December, Golden Pheasant was South Africa’s seventh highest earning racehorse this season.

How does he do it?

“Attention, research, love and care. I have never been to the sales and had an open cheque book to flash around. I’m sure anybody can train winners with unlimited budgets and buying the best of blood. My philosophy has to be different but it works for me. I am proud of what we have achieved.”

And Golden Pheasant?

“He needs plenty of TLC! He is full of enthusiasm for the game still, but we will take him from race to race. If he stands up to it, I think the Vodacom Durban July wouldn’t be a silly race to aim at. Racing is about dreaming big and aiming high. We will see where the journey takes us,”concluded Barend, who wished the industry, his friends and family a happy Christmas.

Another Birthday Boy!

Breeder Anton Shepherd is another racing personality who celebrates his birthday on 25 December. The Beaumont Stud boss will be 52 – coincidentally the same age as Barend Botes – on Saturday. We wish him good health and a great year ahead

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

‹ Previous

Richards Ticks The Bucket List

Next ›

Linebacker Call-Up For Zackey

Recent Profiles

KZN’s Voice Of The People

The rush and roar remains unforgettable

Dawn Newman – A Household Name

Ticking all the boxes

Sean Veale Rides Under SP Banner

Welcome to the team

Chad Set For Singapore

Fifth one-day visit at Kranji

A Champion Milestone

Has a chance longshot ride in the Woolavington

Passionate Owner Supports Good Cause

It costs so little to do plenty of good

Aidan O’Brien Earns Top Accolade

Hall Of Fame inductee

Getting Back Into The Saddle

Redemption after the return

Fanie’s Pure Winning Pleasure

Former Tukkies rugby star is living the dream

Wright Signs For Ridgemont

Happy and content in the Cape

Kaidan’s On The Up!

Dad Andrew is his Agent - so it's quite a team!

Will We See A R10 Million Ticket At Nationals?

Kuda CEO talks about sales prospects next week

Snaith Machine Kicks Into Top Gear

Snaith Racing - big plans over the next four months

It’s A Real Equestrian Affair!

Whistling on her way to work!

Join The Zac Attack!

Second Hong Kong Derby success

High Five For Rising Star Kelly!

From a quiet start in 2022, to a third place on the log

From ‘Zama-Zama’ to Gr1 Owner

Stinky Pooe's Inspiring Story