PRETORIA businessman Heinrich Rix has spent much of his life around horses and his
increasing involvement in racing and breeding in recent years led to his purchase of the Uncle Mo stallion Royal Mo (USA), who stands at Klawervlei Stud in partnership with a number of shareholders.
He also buys predominantly fillies that he likes to race in the hope that they will earn black type and represent good matings for his superbly bred stallion.
Rix (55), is one of those staunch, never-say-die racehorse owners who dreams of “leaving the rat race one day” so he can concentrate on his thoroughbred interests and retire around horses.
He grew up on a horse farm in Standerton and such was his interest in Welsh Ponies that he started buying them himself at the age of 13 and eventually started Welsh Pony Stud. He’d travel to Pretoria, get the ponies he could afford and travel with them back to his home town, on a train!
“I gradually grew into the horseracing industry after I completed my military training,” Rix tells. “My family loves horses too. My daughter Carla rides American Saddlers. We have a farm in Parys where I send my yearlings to grow and strengthen when they come from the various sales, and my mares are kept at Klawervlei and Hemel N Aarde Stud.”
Like most of the more affluent owners, he sees thoroughbreds as investments and he is putting his money in the belief that things will turn, and turn out for the good.
Like most of the more affluent owners, he sees thoroughbreds as investments and he is putting his money down in the belief that things will turn, and turn out for the good.
Rix and Carla travelled to Winstar Farm in Kentucky to see Royal Mo before he left for South Africa earlier this year and he recalls: “There were some partnership issues, a few pulled out and I sulked for a few days before deciding to take most of the horse myself.
“But indications are he will reward us and we are excited. His sire Uncle Mo was an unbeaten champion at two, when his wins included the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the G1 Champagne Stakes. Royal Mo himself was G1 placed in the Santa Anita Derby but was injured before he could reach his track potential.”
Rix bought four yearlings at the two major CTS Sales earlier this year, three colts by Rock Of Gibraltar and one by Pour Moi. They were kind of “pin-hooked” and he tells: “They all went at prices that were well below the worth of their blood and I decided to buy them at what could turn out to be bargain prices. I’ve put them on Friday’s Ready To Run Sale to see if they can reach anywhere near their value. If they don’t, I will keep them and race them myself.”
The astute Julia Pillbeam of Soetendal Estate prepared Rix’s colts for the sale and here are her reports:
Lot 77: Unnamed Rock Of Gibraltar x Heart Of The Sea (Rip van Winkle)
This beautiful colt has no reason to not be eligible for the million-dollar race. His dam HEART OF THE SEA is out of LANGOUSTINE, a top mare by Danehill from PRAWN COCKTAIL, an unraced half-sister to ROYAL ACADEMY. So this pedigree is loaded with international class. Rock of Gibraltar needs no introduction, he’s been a top stallion worldwide for many years. This colt has grown and matured. He is a beautiful colt with a lovely action. He is a must-see, a no brainer to look at, a proper horse.
Lot 104 Unnamed colt by Rock Of Gibraltar x Mrs Everest (Galileo)
This is a powerfully built colt, with short pasterns and cannons, strong hindquarters and gaskin with a good girth. He is on the small side with some growing to do, but has a superb temperament. He is very laid back and does whatever he is asked, becoming more playful now that he is fitter. He is heavy on his neck and shoulder and should ideally be gelded.
Lot 105 Unnamed colt by Rock Of Gibraltar x My Claire (Piccolo)
This colt is also on the small side, but with scope for growth. With work, he has started developing quite nicely. He has a good shoulder and well-set neck. Getting a bit cresty and may also benefit from gelding at some point. He is very athletic, handles his work with ease, like an older horse. He puts in maximum work every day and has the action of a much bigger horse. He’s got spunk, he is tough and straight forward.
Lot 107 Unnamed colt by Pour Moi from Natural Woman (Excellent Art)
An attractive colt with a beautiful head. He is heavy in the neck and shoulder and needs to be gelded, he is very coltish. He is behind the other colts in his work and is difficult to assess. He seemed to struggle on the sand track at home but put up an excellent piece of work on his first and only visit to Durbanville and stretched out very well considering his greenness. He is becoming easier to handle, but changes to his routine brings out the stallion in him.