We arrived in Cape Town and my Dad, Terry and Step Mum, Annabel were at the airport waiting to pick us up. The drive back to the farm (Sorrento Stud) was a long one due to road works on the N1 so we had to take a long detour which didn't help us with our sense of direction.
The farm itself is near a town called Paarl, the wineland area, which is actually about 60 miles away from Cape Town itself although if you look at it on a map it really doesn't look that far. Behind the farm is a ridge of mountains called Cederberg and on a clear day you can see from these mountains all the way to Table Mountain and the sea in the distance. In essence the views are stunning!
I mentioned the distance from Cape Town which sounds like a long way but out here the roads are long, straight and flat and there is very little traffic which means you can drive fast, and people do. The drive to central Cape Town takes no longer than driving from home to Southampton, if that, and we drive it most days.
Once we arrived at the farm we met my brother Justin and went for lunch after a "quick" shower. My other brother Anthony is living in Port Elizabeth (PE) where he is at an academy training to become a jockey. In order to graduate he needs to have 50 win's under his belt. To date he's got 16 left to go and in his 3rd year at the academy is way ahead of many other 4th years.
Justin works on the farm and also travels to an area of Cape Town called Milnerton at about 5am each Wednesday morning to "ride work" for the trainers there. His girlfriend's father is one of those trainers.
When we arrived there were about 181 horses on the farm, not including all the foals. It was right at the end of the foaling season and there was only one pregnant mare left. I was excited about this as I have always wanted to see a foal being born.
The stallion's name is Royal Air Force or RAF and he's 17.2hh with excellent breeding. Their old stallion Whistling Wood went infertile about 3 years ago and was gelded and given to a good home.
Some of the horses here are yearlings and 2 year olds, not all of which belong to my Dad and Annabel and they are broken in and introduced to training here before being sent to a trainer for proper race training when they are ready.
Justin has a horse here named Plum Gold. He is an ex racehorse who won 6 races in his career and was given to Justin as a present when he was retired. Justin uses him to train the youngsters on the track and he is very fast as well as strong when he wants to run. He is excellently behaved though and Justin will happily jump on him bareback and race him around the farm.
There are also 3 dogs, a 5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Shakira who is most definitely Justin's dog and completely adores him and a 6 month old Ridgeback named Zara. However, she hates that name and will only answer to Puppy, Snoop Dog or Pluto. Since we've been here she's shown a tendency to Snoop Dog, Snoop or Snoopy and Adam's been teaching her how to sit, give both paws and jump up so she has both front feet on his arm.
Finally there is Annabel's dog Stretch. She is a little Dachshund and is as wide as she is long due to her desire to be a hoover. She will eat anything and everything which has gotten her into trouble more than once. Such as the time she ate fly poison and had to be given the kiss of life and taken to hospital and the time Snoop stole a whole packet of sausages off the worktop, ate one, and Stretch ate the rest! Her poor tiny legs are disappearing under her ever expanding belly but no amount of diets and careful feeding seem to help, she will find something to eat somewhere!
Opposite the main house is a 3 bedroom guesthouse about double the floor space of our own bungalow back home and this is our abode for the duration of our stay. Very luxurious compared to the hostels of South America!
The swimming pool's great too :-)