THE Form Organisation’s Charles Faul was honoured with an “Industry Service Award”, at Wednesday’s Cape Racing and Breeders Awards. He was unable to attend due to illness, but a speech was written and presented in his honour by James Armitage.
Below is a copy of the speech:
It has been quoted that this man has a brain the size of a planet. His incredible intellect, unending thirst for knowledge and the capacity to retain and recall minute detail, borders on genius. If he is occasionally impatient with those who struggle to absorb the detail and make the connections that he finds so obvious, it’s only because of a deep conviction that unless drastic action is taken, racing has little time left.
It would be impossible to condense him into something as hopelessly inadequate as a short speech, but if one were to try, then you would have to start with the words passion, energy and racing.
You may ask: Why racing?
In his own words he says that “He met this beautiful girl whom lived in Milnerton and liked to take the jackpot. She taught him about racing form. He gradually developed an understanding of form and the weight for age scale. It didn’t take him long to work out that form was merely the applied study of trend and formula co-mingled with pedigree, as a result he wanted to learn more about breeding. he graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BCom in Law and Economics.
His formal racing career began when he took over the Cape Turf Guide some 40 years ago, which, thanks to his’ superior handicapping skills, grew from 500 to 6000 subscribers in very short time. “apart from his good betting tips he started writing articles and he was always at war with the owner and trainer ranks. He petitioned the various racing bodies and he managed to get barrier trials implemented in the Cape with great results. It was at this stage when he was starting to make a name for himself. The Curragh bloodstock asked his father if he would be interested in bloodstock work.
As his knowledge of the thoroughbred deepened, he moved into the World of bloodstock – advising clients on matings and the purchase of breeding stock.
He started Form Organisation and imported such sires as Jan Ekels, Dancing Champ, Royal Prerogative, Western Winter and Trippi.
When he bought Jan Ekels and Royal Prerogative, he sold them for 100 000 pounds each, with his 5% commision he spent it on buying books from J A Allen in London– such was his desire to learn and his thirst for knowledge.
Realising the extreme lack of meaningful reference works available, he edited and produced Form Stallion Register- South Africa’s first stallion directory.
The editor of the British Racehorse magazine described Form Stallion register as the “Utopian standard for Stallion Register’s Worldwide and The Noble Horse said it changed the face of how Wetherbys and The Blood Horse did things forever. It was back in the days before the internet and they were doing pedigrees manually. He said to colleague Jehan Malherbe that they needed an electronic database. Shirley Pfeiffer bought 25% of Form and that gave them enough cash to hire a bunch of UCT students and start building a database.
Under his guidance, Form also took over TBA database and catalogue production as well as creating the ARO website, which provides the industry with a host of racing/breeding related products.
A highly skilled and passionate photographer he has captured images of many of South Africa’s greatest racehorses and stallions, thus providing an invaluable resource and historical record.
He is currently involved with The Thoroughpedia project which aims at resurrecting our Sports forgotten history, making this history freely available – and using it as an educating tool to help market our sport. He has channelled lots of his material into the Thoroughpedia project, as he says we don’t live in cyber space, we live in real space and we need to get these horses and these stories out there.”
He has always been outspoken on behalf of punters rights. He remains passionate about growing our sport and making it more inclusive.
A more recent achievement was that he won the Equus Media award for 2016.
His mantra is” Know the game, love the game, have an opinion take a bet.”
Our Special award for 2017 goes to Charles Faull.
Charles tenders his apologies for not being here tonight and thanks every one for the award.