Owner and Trainer
After a short travelling stint abroad Mike returned to open his first business, The Western Province Riding School in Muizenberg, it was here that Mike’s love and passion for horses developed.
Mike trained a string of 35 horses, 15 of which took part in amateur racing at the Cape Hunt and Polo club on the flat and over hurdles. After 6 years at the WP Riding School he sold the business and left for Broadlands Stud Farm where he worked as the stud manager under the honourable Pat O’Neil for the following 2 years.
With the invaluable experience already gained, in 1976 he took out his professional training license and began with a small string of horses in Sungari Lodge, Milnerton.
Four years later Mike had his first grade 1 victory in the Clairwood Winter Handicap with the champion colt Cracker Lilly. His career over the next 30 years has made him unquestionably one of South Africa’s top trainers, with more than 100 grade victories and numerous achievement awards.
Accounts and Personality
Carol also heads up our accounts division and with 30 years of experience behind her, her opinion and decision-making is often called upon.
Media and Assistant Trainer
She began show jumping as a junior and has since progressed into one of South Africa’s leading racing personalities and is often requested to sit on discussion panels for her knowledgeable expertise. Besides her media involvement, Candice has also attained her assistant trainer’s certificate and works extremely closely with Mike.
Candice could be described as the control centre of Bass Racing and is undoubtedly one of the future stars of SA racing. When she is not hard at work you will find her on the showing grounds where she competes for Western Province.
Robert worked part time for Mike in assisting him during the Kwazulu Natal Season in the past. He has since taken up a permanent position with us and assists Mike in both our feature racing centers being Cape Town and Durban.
Trevor is the driving force behind the Bass yard. His support as the assistant trainer to Mike over the last 22 years has proved invaluable. His ability to speak fluent Xhosa has a tremendously positive effect on the staff’s work ethic, allowing for easy communication, a vital asset when dealing with over a hundred horses. Trevor’s involvement in horses began in 1967 when he joined the academy as a jockey working under Allan Higgins. He later joined Allan as his assistant trainer, working under him for the next 10 years. He joined Mike in 1987 to assist him and has never looked back since.
Melissa comes with a reputation of one of the hardest working assistants trainers around. For the most part of her career she has worked abroad only moving to South Africa 3 and half years ago. Mel started working in racing in New Zealand, where she was born. When she was 18 she worked as a strapper and work rider. From there Mel went to Singapore where she worked for 9 years travelling and riding between Malaysia and Hong Kong. Mel then left the Far East to work for Australian trainer John Sadler in Dubai where she was head lad. When he left Dubai she worked for English trainer Gill Duffield who trained pure bred Arabians to race in Dubai where she stayed with for a further 6 years. Melissa then moved to South Africa where she joined Cape based trainer Joey Ramsden, where she worked for three and a half years, before joining Mike Bass Racing.
Our regular jocks and work riders
Young Sensation Bernard Fayd’Herbe resides as our top weight stable elect when it comes to feature race rides. Mike and Bernie have great respect for one another and have proved a formidable combination in the past when it comes to group 1 calibre races.
Our work riders include Belinda Haytred, who herself is a legend in the show jumping world, and we are privileged to have had her knowledge and expertise at hand for more than 10 years. Andile Ndzongo(Shorty) plays a dual role in the yard as a groom as well as a work rider.
Marketing and Website
Mark comes from a professional golf background and joined the family business in 2005. The popularity of the business and the ever-demanding technology of the world today, has led to the creation of his position. Mark heads up the web site and the off-course marketing of Mike Bass Racing.
Tammi comes from a golfing background. Having previously worked at the River Club Driving Range with Mark for 6 years as the golf shop and membership manager it was easy for her to adapt to her new role as website manager. Her quick learning ability and bubbly personality makes her a pleasure to work with.
Mari van der Westhuizen
Mari van der Westhuizen joined the stable 2nd June 2008 as admin assistant after relocating from Bloemfontein. Mari served on the Free State Northern Cape Horse Society’s management committee for 8 years as the chairman of the Bloemfontein area representing FSNC’s interests at SANEF and also started the Equestrian Schools League in Bloemfontein. Having been involved with horses for many years, Marie found it easy to adapt to the work environment assisting primarily in the administration department. Her enthusiasm and reliability makes Mari a valuable part of the team.
Sinikele and Tembile
The Yard Managers
These men have more than 60 years of combined experience in our yard. Maxwell was our head man, and joined Mike in 1980. Sinikele and Thembile started soon after in 1988 and 1989 respectively, and have since received their stable employee certificates for stable management from the Jockey Club of South Africa. Their loyalty and dedication to their work at hand never goes unnoticed.