This year it was the turn of South Africa to host the International Thoroughbred Breeders Federation Congress which was held in Cape Town from 6 – 12 January.
“The ITBF is the representative body for thoroughbred breeders worldwide and provides a platform for member countries to reflect, solve problems, educate and create opportunities for mutual collaboration and assistance. The ITBF acts as a liaison body with racing and allied institutions and authorities, so that the International Thoroughbred Breeding Industry is represented and given space on worldwide forums. Of the delegates present at these meetings, most represent their country’s official Breeders’ Association.”
The congress included open forums, with international speakers discussing various topics of importance to the Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing industry. Follow this link to view the agenda of the 2017 congress.
However, the delegates of the ITBF also had the opportunity to visit some of the local stud farms as well as enjoy the prestigious L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate race day on Saturday.
On Monday evening the delegates along with other members of our industry were invited to a dinner on Varsfontein Stud. Guests were welcomed with a glass of bubbly and could also enjoy wine tasting from our neighbouring cellar, Perdeberg Wines. After some delicious canapes everyone moved to the showing area where Judpot (USA), Master Of My Fate and Gimmethegreenlight (AUS) were paraded to guests while John Freeman provided all the information they needed to know regarding the three stallions.
This was followed by an interesting demonstration by Canadian representatives pioneering a new method of microchipping. Two of Varsfontein’s retired mares were the lucky candidates to be the first two horses in South Africa to be implanted with microchips in their top lips.
The visitors then used the opportunity to walk around and explore- most of whom admired the stallion complex and greeted the stallions in their stables.
A marque was pitched on the garden lawns under which tables were beautifully decorated in a local South African style. Before dinner was served Mick Goss addressed the guests with patriotic words to showcase our industry to our international visitors (which made every South African chest swell with pride). The dinner included cuisine with a traditional twist and a local live band provided the atmosphere. The event was a great success and enjoyed by all.
Photos- Liesl King