I have given thee the power of flight without wings.
Bedouin Legend

WELCOME TO MAURIZFONTEIN

A dynasty through the ages

Having operated previously as a remount station for the British Army during the Boer War, Mauritzfontein was bought by Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer in 1945. The couple got involved in horse racing shortly after the war in the 1940’s. Kimberley was both the headquarters of the DeBeers Mining Company of which Harry Oppenheimer was Chairman, and was also represented by Harry Oppenheimer in Parliament, a seat which he he held from 1948 to 1957. Mauritzfontein is only 15 minutes from the center of Kimberley, so it seemed a perfect place to build their home from home and begin their breeding operations.

Mauritzfontein imported their first stallion in 1951, Janus who was by Pharis and had been a top class racehorse in France. Janus was the sire of Tiger Fish (Durban July Handicap), Open Sea and Ellation. He also sired fillies Will-To-Win (Tankard Gr.1) and SA Oaks winner Tsessebe.

In 1959 Mauritzfontein imported Wilwyn, who incidentally was the first horse ever to be flown into South Africa. Four years later he was crowned South Africa’s Champion Sire, as a result of his top class progeny, King Willow, Smash And Grab and Unlce Ben. He became a fantastic broodmare sire and his daughters produced, amongst others, Sentinel, Hidden Magic, Faro and Canyon Creek. Wilwyns son, Col. Pickering is also the broodmare sire of the famous Horse Chestnut.

TIME LINE

Time line

  • 1945

    Harry and Bridget Oppenheimer
    purchase Mauritzfontein

    Timeline-img
  • 1951

    JANUS
    Stands his first season at stud.

  • 1957

    TIGER FISH
    SA Nursery, Gr.1,
    Benoni Guineas, Gr.1,
    SA Derby, Gr.1

    1957-img
  • 1958

    HENGIST
    SA Derby, Gr.1

  • 1959-img

    1959

    HENGIST
    JHB Summer Handicap, Gr.1

    TIGER FISH
    Durban July Handicap, Gr.1

    WILWYN
    Is imported.

  • 1960

    WILL-TO-WIN
    6 wins including Castle Tankard Gr.1

  • 1961

    DAME DE COEUR
    SA Oaks, Gr.1

    1961-img
  • 1963

    BACCARAT
    SA Oaks, Gr.1

    1963-img
  • 1964-img2

    1964

    KING WILLOW
    Champion Nursery Stakes, Gr.1

    WILWYN
    Champion Sire of South Africa.

    JULIE ANDREWS
    SA Oaks, Gr.1

    1964-img3
  • 1965-img

    1965

    KING WILLOW
    SA Derby, Gr.1,
    Durban July Handicap, Gr.1

    FREE RIDE
    Stands his first season at stud.

  • 1966-img

    1966

    TSESSEBE
    SA Oaks, Gr.1

  • 1967

    LITTLE AUDREY
    SA Oaks, Gr.1