The Legacy Of Excellence Lives On

A broodmare band second to none

When the Kieswetter family purchased Highlands Farms Stud from the Beck family, the Robertson farm boasted a broodmare band second to none, thanks to the foresight of former owner Graham Beck.

Riviersonderend’s second foal Himalayan Hill (Fort Wood) becomes a stakes winner (Pic – Supplied)

Over the years, this shrewd and progressive breeder boosted the quality of an already enviable pool of mares by importing American and English-bred yearling fillies, which were put into training before joining the Highlands broodmare band.

The law of averages dictates that not every filly will end up a champion or stakes winner, but this practice nevertheless yielded a high percentage of winners and, most importantly, hugely enhanced the South African gene pool.

One such graduate was Riviersonderend, an English-bred daughter of Efisio. She retired to the Highlands paddocks as a stakes winner of seven races, having claimed the Listed Roland’s Song Stakes, and also collected more black type with third places in both the Gr2 Gerald Rosenberg Stakes and Gr3 Jacaranda Handicap.

She duly became a stakes producer with her second foal, the Fort Wood filly Himalayan Hill, who carried the Beck silks to victory in the Listed Off To Stud Handicap at Hollywoodbets Scottsville, having chased home Gorongosa (subsequently dam of Gold Cup winner Shangani) in the Listed Spook Express Handicap.

Riviersonderend’s first foal, a grey filly named Cool River, was the product of a liaison with Western Winter.

She scored three times for Eric Sands and although she may have lacked the talent of her dam or half-sister, she showed she had what it takes as a broodmare.

Her first two foals, the fillies River Ayre and Stream Of Kindness won five races apiece, but it was her third foal, the Gimmethegreenlight colt Stream Ahead, who became her first black type winner. Trained by Gavin van Zyl, he claimed the Listed KZN Guineas Trial before continuing his winning ways in Mauritius.

Her Dynasty colt Zambezi Rapids ended up in Zimbabwe and reached the frame in both the Zimbabwe 2000 and Zimbabwe Derby.

Cool River’s second stakes winner arrived this past weekend at Turffontein, where three-year-old Rafeef daughter Beating Wings was rewarded for consistency in the Gr2 Igugu Stakes over 2000m.

Beating Wings (Calvin Habib) gets home to beat My Soul Mate under Richard Fourie (Pic – JC Photos)

Fresh off a fourth in the Gr2 Wilgerbosdrift Bridget Oppenheimer SA Oaks, the Stuart Pettigrew-trained filly opened her stakes account with a half-length victory over Oaks runner-up My Soul Mate.

Riviersonderend produced just six foals, all winners, before her untimely death at age 14.

Thankfully, Cool River is keeping the family in lights, as is Himalayan Hill, who became the dam of the stakes winning duo Humdinger and Glacier Gold. The former, a Mike de Kock-trained winner of the Gr2 Joburg Spring Fillies & Mares Challenge and Gr2 Tibouchina Stakes, recently chased home Gimme A Nother in the Gr1 Empress Club Stakes, whilst What A Winter full sister Glacier Gold earned her black type in the Listed Milkwood Stakes.

In contrast to her dam, Cool River is proving to be a prolific broodmare, as Beating Wings was followed by two colts, the Canford Cliffs juvenile Umfula and Gimmethegreenlight yearling Green Machine.

Last spring, she gave birth to a filly by newcomer Real Gone Kid. A grey, just like mom, she has already been named Pure Steel.


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