Excellence – The Benchmark!

A golden graduation for Summerhill students.

The School Of Equine Management Excellence recently celebrated the graduation of four students- Aldene Barnard, Dylan Korff, Megan Grobler and Tamaryn Shaw- all of whom will now go out into the world and continue to flourish.

From left to right- Henning Pretorius, owner of Summerhill Equestrian, Aldene Barnard, Tamaryn Shaw, Megan Grobler, Dylan Korff & Training Director Kelly Pretorius.

Based in the heart of KZN horse country, the school is situated at Summerhill Equestrian Estate in the midlands, and is home to many top horses, including top stallion Act Of War.

The students spent the last term learning mainly Equine Reproductions and Stud Work. They learn about foaling’s, coverings, assist in scanning procedures and flushing mares. Recently introduced to artificial insemination, as well as embryo transfers.

“They have the best of both the thoroughbreds and the warmbloods,” boasts Chantelle McCabe, stud manager at Summerhill Equestrian, who has worked very closely with all the students.

Student Dylan Korff leading stallion Willow Magic.

“They undergo quite a few assessments both theoretical and practical, which deems them competent. At the end of this, they have to do a final presentation on topics relevant to the industry and the course, i.e. genetics, multiple pregnancies etc. Which allows for examiners to acknowledge their understanding of their studies”

The students partake in long but rewarding days which includes foal duty, foal and mare care, stallion handing for both stallions at stud and the competing warmblood stallions. They also learn backing of the young stock, i.e. sport horses and thoroughbreds for racing. The hardworking students learn all about treatments, both major and small, as well as the general stud farm work to maintain a smooth-running facility.

Each student that graduated this year has something exciting lined up in the new year. Aldene Barnard will be furthering her studies as she has applied for a physiotherapy course in the UK. Dylan Korff will be staying on at Summerhill as an intern. Megan Grobler will be joining a yard in JHB to help with training horses and Tamaryn Shaw will be taking over the running of her family yard in Skeerpoort.

The students having fun in between all the hard work.

“It really is an experience of a lifetime. Hard work for sure, but so rewarding. It definitely gives you a taste of the real world and once you’ve completed the course you are ready to take it on!” enthused graduate Megan Grobler.

It is a journey of a lifetime and the students of Summerhill continue to fly the flag high, even many years later.

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