Ken Nicol: While Do It Again and Justin Snaith cleaned up at the Equus awards, he was happy to redirect some of the credit onto his incredibly hard working staff during an early morning visit to his sprawling Philippi prperty just before he flew up to Joburg.
“Obviously myself, my brother Jonathan and father Chris are the ones who go up on stage and accept the accolades. But behind the scenes are plenty of others who play a major role.
“My headquarters is divided into two yards. Janene Newlands is my chief assistant, and responsible for one of them. She’s tough and incredibly hard working. But that goes for all my employees, as you have to be to cope with the level we work at.
“Megan Trott runs my other yard. She joined us more recently from up north.
“Then there’s Andrea Schroder. She is more office based and handles the admin, as well as being personal assistant to both my brother Jonathan and I. Which isn’t to suggest she isn’t actively involved with the horses as well.
“My head groom is Patrick Xamle, backed up by Jabu Mdludlu, and I have huge trust in both of them.”
Justin has generally favoured female assistants over the years, something he freely admits.
“Women work best with the horses. They are generally in the industry for the right reason – the love of the horse. Our horses are extremely well treated.”
One of Andrea Schroder’s many tasks is finding good homes for their retirees, and unsurprisingly, she has kept one for herself.
“I have the gelding Sacred Touch, who was previously owned by Braam van Huyssteen. It was bound to happen” she says cheerily.
The highly experienced Janene Newlands has been in the game for 25 years, and previously worked for Patrick Shaw (in Singapore), Doug Campbell and Glen Kotzen among others.
But she is highly impressed with her current boss.
“Justin is different class. He really is a master of all trades, and is completely driven. I enjoy working here, and we have some great horses of course which helps” concludes the always helpful assistant.