The Seventies

The crop of foals born at Normandy Stud was in 1971, to a small group of mares that was in the process of slowly being built up. Due to our limited resources these were generally acquired on the basis of ‘first-foal’ and other deals. Tommy was keen to get representatives of the country’s top female lines; one of the first was Sugarpop (from Paul de Wet), who produced the King’s Cup winner Soda Fountain, our first stakes winner.

The following year Tribesman became our first Derby winner, when he beat Beau Art in the SA Derby. There was no Teletrack then; we were all huddled around the radio listening to Peter Duffield’s commentary, which got pretty exciting because it was a ding-dong battle all the way up the Turffontein straight.

Tribesman’s dam was Tramore, who demonstrates the value of starting off with quality stock. She was by multiple champion sire Abadan, from one of Alex Robertson’s best families. We were fortunate to end up with a daughter of hers, Terpsichore, who was by yet another champion sire, Drum Beat. More than thirty years later, daughters of Terpsichore have been responsible for Winter Solstice as well as Mother Russia, and Bravura is out of a granddaughter.

Interestingly, Tramore was something of a loner, in that she was always on her own in the paddock, far away from the other mares. Terpsichore and her daughters have been exactly the same.

Towards the end of the decade we also picked up a daughter of the great mare Sun Lass, in the form of Entre Nous. While the family has not been as prolific, Tatler is a recent star, following on from In Camera, who won the Fillies Guineas in 1983.

So, while we had our share of successes, during the seventies foundations were laid for far greater future successes.