IRC Q&A: Sigi Sauter
If the IRC’s horses could talk, they’d refer to Sigi Sauter as “Mommy”. The careers of most of our runners start with Farm Manager Sigi of Fiddlers Green at the Summerveld Training Centre near Shongweni, South Africa. Sigi calls them her kids, she schools and backs the youngsters with love, care and expertise, nurses the injured ones and looks after those retiring from the racetrack.
Sigi was born into a family, she notes, that “barely knows what a horse looks like”.
She says: “I am an anomaly. I fell in love with horses around the age of 10 and competed in a few few disciplines, capably but moderately. Our family wasn’t wealthy, so we had to make do with what resources were available.
“I got involved with racing at 20 when a friend of mine became racing manager of Newmarket and I had a passionate interest for the next 20 years, running a small livery stable and spelling facility concurrently. Inclement circumstance deemed that i had to take a sabbatical from racing for many years thereafter, but thanks to my dear friends Mike and Laura De Haast I find myself back in the fold at Fiddlers Green, where I feel attuned again.”
The thing is, the horses in Sigi’s care also feel attuned, and that is why they arrive at trainers’ yards in impeccable condition!
Here is our Q&A with Sigi Sauter.
1. Full name? Sigrid Sauter
2. Date of Birth? 12 April – after a certain age its tactless to ask that of a woman. I am old enough…a little too old for my liking.
3. Steak or sushi? Sushi.
4. Superstitions? None.
5. Fav Holiday Destination? I never go on holiday. Dream of the Inca Trail.
6. Which: BMW or Merc? Neither.
7. Who inspires you the most? Marlene Laird. Warm, gracious, balanced, principled and stylish. I would have liked to be half the woman that she is….
8. Big night out or quiet night in? Quiet night in….with wine.
9. Left-handed or right-handed? Left.
10. Saddest day around horses? When we had to euthanize my son’s pony Montana Sky. We fought a losing battle to cope.
11. Your best attribute/strength as a horsewoman? Intuitive feel and a good eye.
12. What annoys you most? Duplicitous people.
13. Funniest person you have ever met? Carl Kritzinger… dark and very dry humour.
14. What is your biggest phobia? Getting old and infirm.
15. Biggest challenge? Living Life.
16. Most embarrassing moment? Too many to isolate one. I am a klutz.
17. Colts or fillies? Colts.
18. Spelling young horses or training older ones? Both.
19. Best horse ever worked with? Young Monarch. Biggest hearted horse ever.
20. Proudest Achievement? Life has meted out many adversities that I have overcome. In a nuclear war, i am that cockroach that survived.
21. Economy or business class? Economy.
22. Jockeys: Whips or no whips? No whips for me. They have their place, but horses are abused by excessive use.
23. One thing to improve racing for everyone? I think we are doing all that can be done…answer would have to be to lose covid to move forward.
24. Your star sign? Aries.
25. Bath or shower? Bath. My happy place.
26. Read or Netflix? Read. Dont have Netflix. Joao is dumbfounded.
27. Joao Da Mata or Mike de Haast? Both- its the diplomatic answer.
28 Summerveld or Randjesfontein? Summerveld.
30. Nominate someone for our Q&A next? Rocky Agrella.
Two best young horses to watch this season:
Has to be 2 of ours. Humdinger and Tell my Fortune. She is my precious.
Chosen charity for readers to donate to:
Underdogs SA, Pitbull Rescue. -IRC.