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HORSEPROFILE RIDER PROFILE

Gail

FO XC ROFT 1. Tell us a little about your younger years, when your mother ran the legendary Glenfox Riding School? I grew up with horses , having parents who both rode and competed in showjumping. My mother ran Glenfox Riding School and my father was very involved in the Rand Hunt Club. 2. Give us some insight into the well known Weyden ponies and which ones were special to you during your pony riding years? Wendy and Dennis Armitage who owned the Weyden Stud were very close friends of my parents , and so all holidays were spent in Standerton on the stud farm. When I was eight years old, Wendy gave me Weyden Magic Mac, a beautiful strawberry roan partbred (Welsh,Arab,Thoroughbred) who I backed and schooled, and who took me right through Childrens and Juniors. In the beginning I was bucked off daily , but he ended up a top competitor in every discipline. He won showing, dressage, showjumping, eventing, Ponyclub Games and even beat Gary Player’s imported Quarter horses in their National Barrel Racing Championships! He was an exceptionally talented pony who had a repertoire of tricks – kissing, bowing, standing on anthills, drinking Coke from a glass and letting himself into the feed room to steal extra food! 3. Were you ever involved in helping out with lessons, shows and running the yard whilst you were still at school? I was never involved in the running of the yard – I mostly played with my pony and friends. 4. Which Discipline did you prefer at the start of your equestrian career and why? I always had a preference for Eventing. My pony was so good in all 3 disciplines of eventing and always did well. He won the Langeni Trophy (awarded to the combination with the most points in eventing for the season) for 3 years in a row. 5. I believe you once rode the well-known eventer, Wellaway, in a major X-Country show – what led up to this occurring? Linda Stockton owned Wellaway and injured herself just before Sappi SA Eventing Championships and so at the last moment asked if I wanted to ride her. I was thrilled to do so because she

was a lovely mare, brave and kind. I tried her the day before the show started and liked her so I said yes.We ended up placing well. 6. You had a long and successful partnership with the stallion, Lindenberg – how did this come about and what mile-stones did you enjoy together? Lindenberg was an imported Oldenburg stallion owned by Doris and Arnfrid Grannersberger who brought him into the country as a 3 year old. Bryce McCall started him and rode him up to 1.30 whereupon I took over the ride. He was a horse with an incredible presence and a real character. He had a ‘water jump problem’ when I started with him, but through lots of very patient training, he eventually got over the problem. He did remain distrustful of the water jump but as long as I never took him by surprise, he always jumped it. He won the Outdoor Grand Prix of South Africa in 2001 and 2002, President’s Cup in 2003 and the SA Derby in 2005. He was beautiful and easy to ride and had a really good work ethic which he passed on to his progeny. He loved doughnuts and Woolworths Sea Salt and Black Pepper chips! 7. During your years of competing on Lindenberg, you also had a thriving breeding programme in place – tell us a little about those times? Lindenberg was very well bred with the famous thoroughbred stallion Ladykiller twice in his pedigree and so I did a lot of breeding with him. A number of his progeny are competing today – Lothario Lad (competed so successfully by Dominey Alexander), La’Audience ( the brilliant pony that won so much with Cameron Dawson),Lobo (jumping in the WCQ classes with Lauren Smorenburg). 8. What led you to embark on a Degree as a Pharmacist – where did you study and how have you managed to combine both your very successful business ventures with your equestrian pursuits? I’m not sure why I decided on Pharmacy as a career, but I obviously thought it a good idea at the time! I studied at Wits Tech and then later at Wits Medical School. I owned Lonehill Dispensary for 26 years which I closed in 2013 and now I have my dispensary at Equifox. Issue 19 SPORTING HORSE

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Sporting Horse Magazine Issue 19  

July 2014 Edition of Sporting Horse Magazine

Sporting Horse Magazine Issue 19  

July 2014 Edition of Sporting Horse Magazine

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