Jo Campher walks the talk

Three years into her role as Bloodstock Product manager at Kuda Insurance, one of the most established and respected names in the industry, Jo-An Campher (above with two of her ’clients’) still feels more comfortable walking the walk rather than talking the talk. “I wouldn’t say I’m camera shy, but I do prefer to let my actions do the talking for me. I do, however, realise that I need to get out of my comfort zone in front of the camera, in order to promote the great products we offer at Kuda and the benefits thereof.”

But, despite her media reluctance, it would be amiss of us to not introduce you to this powerful individual representing one of the most dynamic insurance brokerages to be found anywhere.

Campher has come a long way in her three years at the brokerage which is heavily invested in the equine industry, be it bloodstock or equestrian sport.
(As well as offering products that people might not know, such as a FX department that offers extremely competitive rates, art insurance and a great product in Home Contents, Vehicle and Business Insurance) All with a renowned personal service.

These days she is known simply as “Jo from Kuda”, which is a huge compliment to the strides she’s made in the industry and her ever-growing reputation.

Some 180 yearlings are scheduled to go under the hammer at this Sunday’s Bloodstock SA Cape Yearling Sale to be held at Paarl’s Mistico Equestrian Centre and she will be there as well at De Grendel for the 2021 Cape Thoroughbred Sales Cape Premier Yearling Sale in mid March. Her role? To assist and educate buyers at the auctions with making the right choices once they’ve made their purchase, which would be to ensure their precious new cargo is insured through Kuda.

Although she has had a chequered career, which includes doing hospitality work on yachts in the Mediterranean, living in Canada and studying to be a chef, these past three years she has been at her happiest.

“I grew up amongst horses,” she says. “I have been riding since the age of four and come from a ‘horse family’. My Dad showed American Saddlebreds and I did show jumping and earned South African colours in American Saddlebreds and showing. I have been fortunate to ride racehorses as well, with the likes of Michelle Rix, Bass Racing and Justin Snaith giving me the privilege on occasion when they have taken a string to the beach.”

Given her rich history and experience around horses it was a masterstroke on behalf of Kuda chief executive Wehann Smith who took Campher on board three years ago.
“I’m not scared of change or a challenge and it was an amazing opportunity for me. We’re a company that is passionate about bloodstock and our clients. We treat our clients as if they are part of our extended Kuda family. I for one understand just how important buying and owning a horse is and that the animal is also covered should anything happen.”

Campher says that: “Having been a horse rider and involved with horses most of my life, I understand that accidents, illness and injury occur.

I was heartbroken when I lost my top show horse to colic shortly before national trials. I have educated myself in the ‘downside’ of things and I honestly believe that I have a connection with horses as much as I do with people. I know what makes horses tick, and I’ve foaled them down, fed them, raised them and taken care of them. But, illness and injury is part of a horse’s life, just as it is with humans.

“What it means is that I don’t walk around wearing blinkers. I am comfortable in the company of a vet discussing complicated procedures or situations. Horses are emotional animals and it’s important that anyone who has a horse has cover and I truly believe that the cover offered by Kuda gives total peace of mind to the client and that’s a great blanket of comfort to have.

Jo-An with KUDA sponsored champion Lyle Hewitson.

“We offer a vast array of different covers and I would really love to be able to explain all the options to people who are interested.”

One of the product offerings that Campher is most proud about is the Mortality Cover (this is a standalone cover which can be taken in conjunction with Life Saving Surgery and Critical care, and as the name suggests covers you in case of death) and Mortality Boost + (which is a great option that covers you at auction time for the full year).

“The latter is a new addition for us at Kuda, but to me it’s a no-brainer,” she says.

“I am aware that there’s some skepticism about insurance and ‘the small print’. But, we are different and I urge you to find that out for yourself.”
So, whether you’re at Mistico or De Grendel over the coming weeks, be sure to look up from your catalogue, or take your eye away from the quality yearlings on display and look out for “Jo from Kuda.”

A few minutes in her company and it’s likely to change your whole outlook on your precious new asset.

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