FAVOUR STUD – FARM OF THE FUTURE
Engelize and Ernst Du Preez’s Favour Stud is one of the youngest and most innovative stud farms in South Africa. The farm was established in 2008, and is situated in the Stillbaai region of the Western Cape.
Guests entering onto the property will be met by a large white sign wall with Favour Stud written on it. Above the sign are two flags, which are raised systematically to inform people if the farm has had runners and winners for the day and whether any new foals were born.
The stud, on which only indigenous trees are planted, is run by an enthusiastic young staff, who come from a mixed range of backgrounds.
The farm is run by Jannie and Renate Du Plessis, the farm and stud managers respectively. While Jannie preps the yearlings, Renate is kept busy supervising the foaling during the breeding, managing the vet station, and trains both the farm’s and various clients horses.
Jannie, who has an architectural background, played a pivotal role in designing the buildings which grace Favour Stud.
Jannie, a former missionary who is extremely well travelled, enjoys the pedigree aspects of breeding, while his wife, Renate, is an outstanding horsewoman, who previously trained warm bloods and competed
extensively overseas. She has just received her training assistant, and has already one impressive feature race winner to her credit- Lielums landing the Listed Lady’s Pendant.
Renate had previously been assistant trainer to Corne Spies for two and a half-years.
She admits to have been well supported and helped by a number of people in the racing community, and numbers amongst these Maine Chance Farms’ John Slade, PE trainer Yvette Bremner, Tarquin Norval, Gavin Smith and Justin and Jonathan Snaith.
The couple, who have a 3yo daughter, Hailee, started out training one horse. However, Jannie and Renate, showcased their ample capabilities by training this horse to be a two star eventer – and it was not long before more people took notice of their skill.
One of Renate’s early students was Engelize Du Preez’s daughter, Juka, whose love of horses and riding quickly influenced her father, Ernst.
Ernst took such a strong liking to the equestrian world, he purchased six horses from the Riethuiskraal Disperal. Among these was Gilded Moon – who went on to win five races including the Milkwood Stakes.
This quick success encouraged Ernst and Engelize to get more involved in the sport.
Ernst duly went to the KZN Mare and Weanling Sale and purchased a staggering 35 mares in 2008!
He sent them to his fledgling farm in Stillbaai, which, at the time, had no facilities, and just a single paddock for the mares.
Jannie was quickly recruited to assist Renate in the running of the farm, which that season had the bare minimum of help!
Today, however, things could not be more different!
The training facilities on the farm include a 2600m training track, as well as barns for housing horses in and out of training.
Other facilities on the farm include 250 hectares for grazing, a stallion facility, 4 foaling barns, which are situated very close to the stud manager’s house, and 34 individual stables.
Expanded both in 2009 and 2010, the farm is also open to hosting various equestrian events in their impressive function barn. Ernst is currently negotiating with his neighbour to buy the surrounding property, in hopes of expanding the farm still further.
There is a conference situated just in front of the stables, which allow visitors easy access to viewing of the mares and foals.
Favour Stud provides a wide range of services ranging from boarding mares to sales prepping, spelling, pre-training and training.
The farm has a motto of “quality over quantity”, and has an attractive band of broodmares and stallion shares to back up that motto.
Renate admits to hoping to getting a last filly out of some of the older mares, while being excited about the future prospects of the younger broodmares.
The stud has shares in such promising and proven sires as Bold Silvano, Jay Peg, Rebel King, Querari, Horse Chestnut and new sires such as Twice Over and What a Winter.
They recently sold a National Emblem colt to Diane Nagle and Linda Shanahan for R550 000 at this year’s Cape Premier Yearling Sale, and are hopefully for equal success at the upcoming sales.
From their first small crop of runners, the stud is already represented by a black type horse, while Favour Stud’s second crop has yielded 3 stakes horses to date.
Favour Stud produced their first runner on 10 December 2010 and since have produced the black type achievers like Lord Jonathan, Zobens and Sahavara. The farm also bred talented recent feature race winner Varlo – who scored an impressive win in the Capetown Noir Need For Speed Sprint. Yet another smart winner bred by Favour as the impressive juvenile My Emblem, a smart winner on debut recently.
Guests visiting Favour Stud are able to stay in either the Favour House or Favour Stud. The house is built on the Modderfontein farm, which was built back in 1873. The thatched cottage, now available to visitors, was part of the abandoned foundation of the original stud farm. Now equipped with a Jacuzzi, the fully furnished cottage is warm and comfortable – and provides guests with a snug place to stay out of the cold Stillbaai nights!
Favour Stud is an exciting addition to the ranks of South African stud farms – and no doubt has a bright future to look forward to.