Stud News – Page 4

Nine Yearlings Fly our Flag at CPYS 17

On Monday, 16 January nine yearlings will take a big step into the limelight and leave their home for the bright lights of the Cape Town Convention Centre and the annual Cape Premier Yearling Sale,  which takes place on 21 and 22 January 2017.

“Nine of our Yearlings were selected for the Sale and although the draft is particularly good this year, I feel that Lot 129 Carioca (Var x Miss Epanema) is an outstanding high-quality filly who oozes class and a great attitude,” comments Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.   “Amongst the colts I really like Lot 210 Montego Bay (Var x Torra Bay) as he is a good size for a first foal and has a great international pedigree.”

Montego Bay

Montego Bay

We kick off the action at this international event on Day 1,  as the first yearling up for sale is our own “Little Sparrow”, an attractive and athletic filly by speedster sire Var out of Bambina Stripes (ARG).  Our second yearling up for sale on the first day is Lot 24, a filly called Counter Fate from the first crop of Master of my Fate.   Pippa describes her as a tall flashy sort who is a really good advert for her sire.   The last filly in the draft is Lot 218, Operetta (Oratorio x Varsity Queen) who is a tough powerful mover.

Lot 224 Euphoric (Oratorio x Without Malice) is last up in the Sale on Day 2 for Avontuur and according to Pippa he is powerful and athletic with great speed.

The excellent draft is completed by three Var colts.  Lot 133, Provocateur is out of Model IQ and he is big, powerful and upstanding – typical of the family.  Lot 146 Whitehaven (Var x Paradise Beach), is the first living foal out of a superbly bred mare and is a speedy, robust and attractive colt.  Last but not least is Barista (Var x Mochachino) who is a typically precocious Var type with an athletic workmanlike attitude.

Please visit us at our Hospitality Lounge in Hall 3 from Wednesday 18 January right through the Sale until Sunday, the 22nd.  We’ve got great Avontuur wine or soft drinks and view the great yearlings on offer at your leisure.   If you want to visit the Farm for a private viewing before the Sale, contact Pippa on to book a slot.







Cape Premier Sale Yearling Photographs on Show.

We’re loving the “action shots” of the nine yearlings set for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale on 21 and 22 January 2017, at the glamorous CTICC.  Thanks to Liesl King’s highly rated equine photographic skills, our yearlings are shown having a great time in the paddocks at the farm.  Click here to see more….


Oratorio Opens SA Account

Oratorio (IRE), who stands alongside sensational sire Var (USA) at Avontuur Thoroughbreds, has wasted no time in making his mark on South African horseracing. His first runner in this country Sacred Oration made his debut a winning one under jockey Luyolo Mxothwa for trainer Grant Paddock in a maiden juvenile plate over 800m at Fairview on Friday. The colt showed good pace throughout and won very easily. Sacred Oration is out of Sacred Causeway (AUS) by Giant’s Causeway (USA) and he was bred by Patricia Devine Investments who owned one of the most legendary stallions in the history of racehorse breeding in South Africa the one and only Jet Master. It will be interesting to see whether or not the colt kicks on from here, but all things including talent aside this is a very exciting moment for the South African racing and breeding industry, as Oratorio has had success as a stallion all around the world.

Oratorio is a son of Danehill who in turn is a son of Danzig who was sired by Northern Dancer, this is one of the strongest male lines in horse racing today; all of his sire, grand sire and great grand sire will forever have a place in the halls of racehorse breeding history. The female side of his family is not as impressive, but his dam Marah by Vaguely Noble is from the direct family of 1980 Preakness winner Codex, who sired Badger Land who was a very influential sire and broodmare sire in South Africa. Oratorio won 6 of his 15 starts from 2 – 3 years of age, from 1200m – 2000m. He was one of the best racehorses of his generation, being a dual champion with a Time Form Rating of 119 at 2 and 128 at 3.

It may very well pay to follow the Oratorio’s as the season wears on, as they will more than likely resemble their outstanding sire who was honest and genuine. Oratorio has justified the obsession of breeders, owners  and trainers alike.

Article courtesy of


Cape Yearling Sale 2017 Pedigrees now available

It’s getting to that exciting time of the year again when buyers from all over the world congregate in Cape Town for the Cape Premier Yearling Sale.  The 2017 event takes place at the CTICC on Saturday, 21 January and Sunday, 22 January.

Avontuur is happy to announce that 9 yearlings (4 fillies and 5 colts) are in the selection for this prestigious event.  We will be showing off 2 Oratorio’s, 6 Var’s and one by sire, Master of My Fate.   Highly rated mares like Without Malice, Bambina Stripes, Mochachino and others are represented at what will surely be a excellent sale again.

Click here to go to our Stud Pages and click on the underlined lot number to view the pedigrees.

Lyle Hewitson joins Avontuur-sponsored jockeys.

Lyle Hewitson, fondly nicknamed “The Flying Apprentice”  joins the ranks of Avontuur Estate-sponsored jockeys, bringing the total to four.

lyle-hewitson-on-francia(Lyle Hewitson on Francia)

With highly rated and experienced jockeys like Greg Cheyne and MJ Byleveld,  Champion Apprentice Callan Murray and now Lyle in the stable, this well-known Thoroughbred Stud Farm between Stellenbosch and Somerset West seems set for a successful Summer season.


“We are extremely happy with our sponsorships to date,  which ensures that the Avontuur brand is exposed on tracks around the country and media outlets world-wide, linking into our successful stud business,” says Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh.  “Each of the jocks are ambassadors for Avontuur and we appreciate their loyalty and support hugely.  The sponsorships assist with our brand building obviously, but also supports their dreams and aspirations which makes it a win-win situation for all of us,” she concludes.


Lyle Hewitson had a meteoric rise through the ranks due to many years as a work rider and a family steeped in the racing industry.  “My dad was a jockey and is currently a trainer, so I grew up with horses.  In Grade 7 I had my heart set on becoming a jockey, but it was only in Grade 10 that it became reality,” Lyle explains.   After finishing matric at Kearsney College, Lyle was accepted at the Jockey Academy and from there it’s been a roller coaster ride towards fulfilling his dream of becoming one of SA’s best.


As Avontuur Estate is also an award-winning wine producer, it was appropriate to ask Lyle about his wine knowledge, which led to a chuckle or two.  “Before visiting Avontuur for my farm induction, which will include a wine tasting with the winemaker, I’m going to study a few YouTube video’s,” he says. “At least I’ll  know the difference between sweet and dry wine, red and white wine and a little bit about the winemaking process, I hope!”.


Lyle Hewitson will be sporting Avontuur branding from 1 November and the Estate hopes for many years of successful co-operation as we watch his career with interest.





27 Yearlings set for 2017 Sales

An excellent crop of yearlings are featured on our Stud Farm pages, all set for the various Sales next year.

We have 9 Oratorio’s, 14 Var’s and then a Dynasty, What a Winter, Twice Over and a Philanthropist featuring in the selection.

According to Avontuur GM Pippa Mickleburgh, she is particularly excited by Montego Bay by Var out of talented race mare Torra Bay who is big and strong and full of scope.  Barista is a strong racy colt out of tough race mare Mochachino and Rags to Riches, a robust colt by Dynasty is the 3/4 brother to champion race mare Beach Beauty.

And don’t forget an outstanding colt called Dickens by Var out of Classique Story as well as Cue the Music by Oratorio, who is a half brother to Val de Ra, our own retired speed queen.

Yearling sales coming up for Avontuur next year, include the Cape Premiere Yearling Sale in January and then Book 2 at Durbanville in March.  In Joburg our yearlings will feature at both of the big April sales namely the one at Emperor’s Palace as well as the National Yearling Sale at the  TBA Complex in Germiston.

“Obviously the yearlings still have to be inspected and allocated to each sale, but we are impressed with the 2017 crop, and look forward to showing them off at the Sales,” says Pippa.


Foaling season in full swing!

With thirteen foals born safely by the 31st and another 18 to go, the Avontuur Thoroughbred Stud team and GM Pippa Mickleburgh is on full alert as the mares get ready to drop their precious cargo.   The rest of the Avontuur crew and public who visit the farm can just enjoy the the gorgeous foals and their moms, who add to the already spectacular scenery of this Helderberg Estate between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

“I’m particularly excited that we’ve had a safe delivery of a Dynasty colt out of world-class race mare River Jetez and with another foal by this champion sire expected from Val de Ra in late November,  we are looking forward to some quality additions to the stud this year,” says Pippa.

Avontuur’s sire Oratorio had some top class foals delivered with an outstanding half-sister to Gr 1 winning King of Pain and a strong, athletic half-brother to top race filly Cold as Ice already enjoying life by mom’s side in the paddocks.   Multiple winner and imported mare Torra Bay gave birth to a top class flashy colt to round off the Oratorio’s to date.

Gr 1 winning mare Bambina Stripes delivered a tall, high quality Var filly and 2016 Champion sire Trippi has a daughter out of stakes winning mare Miss October.

“With mares still carrying to Silvano, Philanthropist, Master of My Fate and Flower Alley, we’ve still got a way to go, but we look forward to the new additions to the farm, and it’s all hands on deck as we keep up with this exciting period of the year,” Pippa comments.

A beautiful Oratorio filly was produced by Varsity Queen - Aug 2016

A beautiful Oratorio filly was produced by Varsity Queen – Aug 2016

Visit our Stud Page on this website, and have a look at the 2016 foals as they arrive.  Regular updates will be posted.


Avontuur-bred Legal Eagle sweeps the boards!

The Sean Tarry trained Greys Inn gelding Legal Eagle swept the boards and was crowned 2015/16 SA Horse Of The Year at the Emperors Palace Casino in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.

Legal Eagle wins LQP

The 5yo son of Greys Inn was bred by Avontuur Stud and races in the silks of SA Champion owners, Ingrid and Markus Jooste of Mayfair Speculators (Pty) Ltd.

Legal Eagle won three Gr1 races during the season, and was runner-up in the Gr1 J&B Met behind the high-class Breeders Cup bound filly, Smart Call. The daughter of Ideal World was the recipient of two awards and was fancied in many quarters for the Horse Of The Year title.

Legal Eagle impressed when winning South Africa’s premier weight-for-age mile, the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate during the Cape Summer Of Champions, and then followed that with two scintillating victories in April – the HF Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes and then ending his campaign with another facile victory in the Premier’s Champions Challenge.

With Racing Manager Derek Brugman away at the Arqana Sale in France, Markus Jooste was on hand to collect the trophy, together with SA Champion Trainer Sean Tarry, top jockey Anton Marcus and an elated Pippa Mckleburgh, GM of Avontuur Estate.

Legal Eagle also won the Champion Older Male and the Champion Miler Awards.

(Story courtesy of Sporting Post)

Avontuur tops Ave Earnings Charts

Avontuur Estate, the Thoroughbred Stud Farm and Winery between Stellenbosch and Somerset West in the Western Cape is over the moon to be top of the Breeders log on Average Earnings per Runner for the year just ended on 31 July 2016.

“With only 35 mares on the farm and 53 runners which form part of the stats for the past year, our average earnings of R158 979 gives a percentage of 56.6% which is truly a feather in the cap of our team as well as the Taberer family, who owns Avontuur Estate.  But in the end it’s the loyal support of the owners and trainers who made this dream come true for us, “says Avontuur Estate GM Pippa Mickleburgh.

This is the second year running that Avontuur is on top in this category, and it is a testament to good management, planning and a vision to be all about quality not quantity.  “With our sires Var and Oratorio continuing to deliver the goods and a band of quality brood mares, we look forward to another competitive and successful year, “she says.

Legal Eagle in action!

Legal Eagle in action!

Join the “O” list this season!

Oratorio full page advert July 2016 (438x640)