School fight escalates in South Africa

An unseemly stand-up fight has erupted between Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Stud and leading South African breeder Summerhill Stud.

The upshot of the on-going brawl is the immediate relocation of Shadwell sires Kahal, Muhtafal and Malhub to other studs in KwaZulu-Natal.

Summerhill began its relationship with Sheikh Maktoum’s Gainsborough Stud some twenty years ago.  After his death on Queensland’s Gold Coast in January 2006, the association continued with his brother Sheikh Hamdan.

Summerhill owner Mick Goss issued a statement last week detailing the stud’s spin on the turn of events which stems from the establishment a School of Excellence in July 2009.  Goss maintains the Shadwell pledge towards the School was not a donation but a loan which Summerhill later declined to accept because the terms were so onerous it could have materially impacted the stud’s finances.

Shadwell responded with a press release which, in part, said Shadwell nor its principals wished to demean themselves by issuing statements of the variety disseminated by Summerhill.

The South African industry is alive with rumours and innuendo behind the stoush.  The full text of the claims and counter-claims can be viewed here: