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ECHCU October 2014



It is only when I get to do the News for you that I see where and what we have done over the period of a month (and you only get the relevant parts too!) that I realize why we sometimes are tired, grumpy, weepy or, from time to time, happy and smiling!  It’s been another month with a capital O!

We started off with a donkey MVA on Mission Road - Fractured leg and DOA.   The only problem was that Stanley and I had a meeting with the local Ward Councillor about dumping in her area.  Oh, the joys of having that extra pair of capable hands!  Stan and Tom went off with the horsebox while Carla and I followed a little later, to meet up with Stanley outside the Greenbushes Hotel, swop drivers, while Carla took the carcass for disposal and Stan and I had a fruitful meeting with the Ward Councillor.   On the way that morning, we happened to see a horse in not good condition but were able to contact the owner who popped in a few days later to get some advice.

Then David, who does not have a good history with donkey foals phoned to request that we collect his donkey jenny with foal at foot for a while until he is big enough to withstand township hazards – kids with stones and dogs and vehicles.  And so, in came Charlie Weir with his mumkins.  His name is very apt because he has a shock of white hair on his forehead just like the boxer Charlie Weir.  Now in the Big Girls’ camp bossing the horses around!


Having only adopted out two donkeys last month, we were very, very happy to adopt out three of our Thoroughbreds, all in one day! It did not end there as we have adopted out a further 3 other horses and donkeys over the rest of the month. As this work is all about swings and roundabouts, we have also had a couple of strays and Surrenders and foal downs as well.


Another Friend stopped a donkey cart way out in the country and phoned to request that we visit the man in Nobuhle to sort out a serious bit problem – wire for a bit!  We did actually find him and did the replacement job.

We were unable to assist a man with a bull problem.  The bull had broken a fence and was running around his property causing drama.

The Complaints continue to come in, some from concerned bypassers or neighbours, some knowledgeable and some not, and in some cases, other animal welfare organisations.  For some, the problems are of the human/personal and some are just straight ignorance.  Some people just ignore requests to contact us which makes it very difficult to conclude a matter.  Some of the problems bring us into contact with ex Racehorses but some are Arabs and other Crossbreeds.  To add to the mix, the complainants sometimes are also ignorant of what should and should not be.

Carla had her first visit to the Humansdorp area for a mass deworming of all our many horses and a couple of donkeys in that area.   She learned quite fast that horses are like people.  Some don’t mind being handled and others do - lots!  Anyway, 23 horses and 3 donkeys presented for deworming by the owners.   It was good to hear that the Farmer who had the two Stolen Horses returned to him by the Unit and that had been nursed for two weeks last month, had delivered 6 bales of lucerne to say Thank You for your caring.   Other than that the only real problem was a mare with a strange wound next to her vulva, but that was also a minor problem and easy enough to fix.    Well done the Felix Family!

One day, Janyne saw Carla battling to lunge one of our horses and had a bright idea – set up a project to make one!  MegM joined in and in a short space of time, the Burma Lungeing Ring was born.  Thanks to Burma Plant Hire space was cleared in a day and then Nadine donated her unwanted fence, and hey presto, done and dusted (and used) in 3 days!  At the same time, upgrading will be carried out on the AWS Remembrance Wall as well as ‘free (leashless) dog runs’ are in the planning for AWS, plus a couple of jumps for the horses, as well as tables and chairs for the vast area, and who knows, maybe even a couple of cross country jumps….we might even have a couple of small horse or dog shows in our future.  It took just one person to get the ball rolling – Thank you, Janyne and MegM!  And to AWS for the use of their koevoet!  Donations towards the whole area most welcome!   Facebook page: ECHCU Exercise Arena Project 2014


Radebe phoned from Izinyoka to say his donkey was ‘sick’ – yup, drunk as a skunk! Ma and foal were brought in to our Vet who diagnosed biliary by blood smear and treated him accordingly. Next day, totally sober foal! Love it when everything goes as it ought to. Returned home a few days later.


From time to time we get Complaints about Cartie behaviour.  This led to Stanley and I visiting the township Cart owner and Stanley giving a thorough ‘dressing down’ to the daughter who was behaving badly, giving everybody else a bad name.  There can be NO disputing that, having ‘discussed’ the matter in her own language, Xhosa, she cannot say she was not told.  Mother mortified.

Followed later that day by attending the Media Launch at Cubana for the Festival of Racing 2014!  Such a dichotomy!  Township in the morning and larney function in the evening!

An early morning email from a Friend in Humansdorp to say that there were a bunch of horses on the road in the town and what could be done about it.  Shaun, bless his cotton socks, was asked to identify the horses and get them to the safety of the owner and he did!  Thank you, Shaun!

Telkom Directory Enquiries had us scratching our heads when we received a call from the Carletonville SAPS about their needing help with horses in trouble.  They were given the Highveld Horse Care Unit contact number!   There was a further enquiry about assistance required by an equine owner – in Vanderbijl Park!   Um…. A bit out of our area, yes?  Also referred to HHCU.

Our Woody, stray from Kirkwood,  and fostered to Tracy has returned to the fold to ‘be’ with Baleka, surrendered Arab youngster.  And subsequently joined by Peanut, donkey yearling.  All the ‘boys’ together and waiting for somebody to adopt and expand their skills.

The ECHCU Auction Room is abuzz too!  Thank you, Tracy!  Facebook page: ECHCU Auction Room

And then…. It was the 24th, Raceday in aide of Unit funds, directed by Friend Dorrie.  And what a 36 hours it turned out to be.   We started the day with our regular Clinic in Grahamstown – 21 donks hoof trimmed by Ayanda, harnessing and bridles and bits replaced as requested or required, but finished off with a donkey whose nose and hind legs had received the attention of township dogs!  The owner had had two donkeys attacked, the first being relatively easy to treat but the second had us in tears!   Major damage!  Carla, SamS and Ayanda returned to Grahamstown with the horsebox to collect him and bring him in, but were persuaded to bring in another jenny (lame) with her foal.  (Treloar has found an abscess in a badly underrun hoof wall.)  Only to be told that there was another donk that was ‘sick’.  Thankfully the horsebox was already full up and plans were made to collect him on Saturday morning.  On going back the following day, it was heartbreaking to find that the dog bites had festered into Tetanus, so he was brought back to PE for a humane euthanasia by our special Vet, Dr Charles.  Thank you, Dr Charles, for your willingness to assist on a Saturday afternoon.   Horsebox disinfected!  And, well done to Carla on her first long distance collection!

Stanley on the other hand worked with 300 odd horses, 1 donkey and 3 mules and that includes hoof work, deworming, tack distribution and wound treatment and advice over 4 days.

Stanley had headed off for another Transkei Mission that morning, and I eventually got to the Unit Raceday lunch and other activities. Like the Auction. Dorrie had organised her usual splendid Auction Items and after it was all over, the Unit has funds in hand for the next year with judicious spending. Thank You to Dorrie, the many kind donors of Auction Items and the winning Bidders for your interest and support – we cannot do what we do without you!


Anne – bread

Sandy – grassmix.

Helena - carrots

Rhoda - Birthday carrots, Staff Lunch for her Birthday and a beautiful Rose Bush for planting.  Happy Birthday!

Jean and Janine – 2 bakkie loads leavings

Magnetic  Storm  – 30 bales lucerne

Braam – bag of Romix

Tamsin – dewormer nips

BevZ – your birthday gift money!  Happy Birthday!

Nicky – breakfast for me and bags of teff and lucerne

Saskia – bales of lucerne.

A.N.Other – bales of lucerne

James Bonner – Via Theodore Herzl School – bales of lucerne.

Cate and Emily – capable volunteer groomers and feeders

MegM – Auction items and farriery tools for Stanley’s Transkei Missions

Erin – volunteer groomer and stable hand

Jean – deliverer of lead rein material from Hilary at the AACL and herbal muti for horses

In conclusion, thank goodness I have a Diary to work off for these newsletters!  Only 61 days to the new year and it can’t come soon enough!


Banking Details:Bank:  Standard Bank    Universal Branch Code:  051001
Account: Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit (all donated monies are used by us in the Metro and beyond!)
Account Number: 080733875
Landline:  041 366 1594
Cellph: 072 357 2505
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website: www.echcu.co.za Facebook: East Cape Horse Care Unit




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