Favour Of The Month

Renate du Plessis is open for business in PE

Winning Combination. Jannie and Renate Du Plessis

Winning Combination. Jannie and Renate Du Plessis

South African horseracing has far too few women involved in the industry and it was probably fitting that the 30 year Renate du Plessis sent out her first winner on Valentine’s Day. The Favour Stud’s Duke Of Destiny was ridden to victory by Greg Cheyne and scored a promising maiden win at Fairview.

The victory by the Windrush gelding was made more remarkable by the fact that the Port Elizabeth based trainer and former provincial showjumper had only sent out her first official runner a week earlier at Kenilworth.

Renate Du Plessis believes that every step of her progress into loving and training horses has been designed to mould her into the person she is today. “I just had the most awesome trainers, mentors and horseman who crossed my path, “ she says humbly when taxed on her background.

Renate is Manager of Favour Stud and is married to Jannie, who assists ‘with coffee, calming my nerves on raceday and driving the horses to races.’ The couple have a gorgeous 3yo daughter Hailee. Her favourite horse in the yard has the same name.

Her Dad was a manager of ABSA Bank and was transferred regularly. Renate’s family had no history with horses when the family moved from Cape Town to Delmas, where she started riding horses at age 7. From there they moved to Pietersburg where she owned her first horse at the age of 9.

“He was a 5 year old thoroughbred off the track called Great Chip, who then became my junior Northern Transvaal team horse in showjumping until we moved to PE where I had to sell him because of injuries not allowing him to jump anymore. I finished high school of which in that time I stabled at Diane Botes ‘s yard where I carried on competing in jumping and dressage andthen went off to the Racing and Equestrian academy where I spent 6 months in a post matric course. I was offered a job by Pierre and Tracy Cahn (Gallway) who are the owners of Emerald Isle Stud in Hillcrest – they are masters at producing A grade showjumpers. They took me under their wing and showed me what schooling young horses is really about.”

Renate worked and rode for the Cahns for a year and then moved on to Saratoga Warmblood stud in Howick where she backed and schooled young horses to competition level for another year. After that she travelled to England where she competed young horses for 6 months for competitive yards in cross country, showjumping and dressage.

From humble beginnings, Ernst and Engelize Du Preez’ Droevlakte based Favour Stud (a magnificent property on the Stilbaai road) has grown in five years and currently has a population of 160 horses.

“Jannie and I manage the farm and Corne Spies was kind enough to help us to get going on the racing side. Two and a half years later, I now proudly have my trainer’s licence! I have always had a passion for the training side of horses and do still ride competitively in my spare time,” she says.

“We have 55 racing stables and a good quality 2000m sand track. I have 22 horses in training,of which 11 are racing. The rest are exciting babies and we have plenty of space for owners and prospective new owners looking to race with sincere, honest folk with old fashioned integrity. I believe that the results should do the talking and our marketing amounts to transparent communication with our customers and no flash,” she says.

Renate has invited enquiries and she is contactable on [email protected].

Favour Stud is also on Facebook.

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