Like most talented individuals, racing journalist Andrew Bon has had to endure his fair share of the industry’s dark side: jealousy, nastiness and simple-mindedness from human beings with large shoulder chips.
In search of good stories and images, Andrew’s endless energy and persistence has landed him in trouble more times than he can remember and, like most of us, he’s said the wrong things (told the truth) or jumped the gun in pursuit of excellence a few times, incurring the wrath of administrators and executives.
Through it all, in a journalistic career that started in 1990, he’s proven himself to be a word-class producer and narrator of racing documentaries, and he’s won two South African Equus Awards for his work despite the bias of a selection panel who were forced to steer well clear of the work of journalists other than the ones who pushed their agenda.
Andrew’s video productions have been recognised around the world, and he is welcomed in racing circles from the UK to the United States and Singapore to Dubai and Australia. His popularity is well summed up in the fact that he’s on a first-name, friendly basis with people like Frankie Dettori, and most racing hacks will know that flashy Frankie has a distinct dislike of the journalistic breed of individual.
Andrew and wife Sarah share an illness that costs them plenty of time and money every month – both are besotted with horses and tend to take in racecourse rejects or horses deserted by owners at their own cost – they rent a property to stable all of them, Sarah has a riding school and many of their acquisitions are taught to jump.
Andrew and Sarah are excellent showjumpers and it’s a hobby that takes them far and wide in their spare time, or when Andrew is benched and without work for a while – this takes his mind of the retarded inflexibility that continues to plague the game, and he often returns with an even better piece of work.
Racing will be worse off without ‘Bonski’, and his work in the South African industry, in particular, has been priceless.
Here is our snap Q&A with Andrew Bon:
1. Full name? Gerrit Andrew Bon
2. Date of Birth? 14/12/1960
3. Steak or sushi? Steak
4. Superstitions? None
5. Fav Holiday Destination? Sabi River Sun (Affordable) or Australia’s Gold Coast (Not).
6. Which: BMW or Merc? Merc.
7. Who inspires you the most? Boyd Martin, watch his story here.
8. Big night out or quiet night in?Was A Now B.
9. Left-handed or right-handed? Right.
10. In studio or out in the field? Happiest out in the field.
11. What annoys you the most? Liars.
12. Most famous interviewed in racing? Larry King.
13. Most famous interviewed outside of racing? Elizabeth Hurley.
14. Most difficult interview? Jay Harrilal.
15. Funniest person you have ever met? Paul Lafferty
16. The Derby or Durban July? Derby.
17. Strict whip rules or no whip at all? Strict rules.
18. What is your biggest phobia? Liars!
19. Most embarrassing moment? Arriving at Randjesfontein for work, only to see my “Wanted” photo posted at the Security Hut, and being waved away.
18. Horseracing or showjumping? Horse Racing.
19. Best TV personality worked with? Mike Cattermole.
20. Single or taken? Taken.
21. Proudest Achievement? Two Equus TV awards.
22. Economy or business class? Champagne Taste, Beer Money!
23. Best horse ever involved with? Horse Chestnut.
24. Your star sign? Sagittarius.
25. Bath or shower? Shower.
26. Read or Netflix? Read.
27. Would you rather ask for permission or ask for forgiveness? Permission.
28. Nominate someone for our Q&A next? Colin Gordon of 4Racing.
Nominate two horses to follow for the rest of this season: