SA Racing Bids Sad Farewell To Henry Devine

He was 100 years old - an officer and a gentleman

Mr Jet Master has sadly passed away. The Sporting Post is sad to report the passing of one of South Africa’s leading breeders at midnight on Saturday. Henry Devine was 100 years old.

His wife Patricia wrote that Henry was her soul mate, her everything and that she was heartbroken but so grateful for all the amazing years they spent together.

The Devines will forever be known as the folk who found a breedchanger in the great Jet Master.

Pat & Henry Devine

Purchased as a weanling for a mere R15 000, the KZN-bred son of Rakeen blazed a trail as a racehorse and a stallion.

Initially trained by Tony Millard, he won the Gr1 Cape Argus Guineas, Gr1 Queen’s Plate, Gr1 Golden Spur and Gr1 Nissan Challenge. When Millard left for Hong Kong, Jet Master joined the stable of brother-in-law Geoff Woodruff, under whose expert care he added a second Gr1 Queen’s Plate and proved himself the country’s leading sprinter, winning the Gr1 Cape Flying Championship and Gr1 Mercury Sprint, while successfully defending his Gr1 Golden Horse Sprint crown.

With the accolade of Horse of the Year and Champion Sprinter in the bag, Jet Master retired to stud where he confirmed the promise of his remarkable racing prowess and proved a roaring success, thereby silencing the sceptics who had doubted his pedigree credentials.

Having made an immediate impact as the Champion first-season sire, he reached the top of the South African sires list with just three crops at the track.

Seven times the country’s leading sire, Jet Master has become the dominant broodmare sire of recent years, whilst his sons Pomodoro and Master Of My Fate are both Gr1 stallions.

Jet Master

Jet Master

Born in (then) Mafeking, Henry served in Palestine with the third The Kings Own Hussars during the Second World War.

After the second world war, Henry studied to become a Chartered Accountant and was in practice for about 25 years before selling out to his partners.

Henry started a lifelong passion for the racing game when he was granted his colours in 1976 and purchased his first yearlings, mainly fillies, at the very last sale held at the old Milner Park. He became heavily involved in racing, to the extent that at one stage, he had about 80 horses in training.

Henry also ventured into breeding and established the Golden Oaks Stud in Paardeberg, outside Paarl, which became home to the stallions Great Brother, Mr Eats and homebred Lauterbrunnen – the latter named after the Swiss village where Henry and Pat spent their honeymoon.

Our condolences go out to the Devine family. South African horseracing has lost an officer and a gentleman.

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