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September 2012


‘They’ say that when lifes gives you lemons you should make lemonade.  As this letter is drawn up using the Unit Diary as a template, let’s see what we Lemonade we have been making this month.

We started off being blown all the way to Grahamstown for our monthly clinic to a poor turnout, so after a chat with Patrick and as we felt that Saturdays appear to be shopping days, we decided to try a Friday next time.  The trip home was exceedingly tedious being all the way back into a howling head wind!

About a year ago, a Kwanobuhle horse with very painful ‘slipper foot’ due to unknowledgeables fiddling with his hooves was taken off the road by SPCA Uitenhage who suggested euthanasia.  After discussion with their Vet, the horse was signed over to the Unit.  Treloar immediately started work on him in consultation with Prof van Schalkwyk in Plett.  After a while, it was felt that it would be better if he was under her direct care and he was fostered to Treloar with a lot of input, love and care from the Late Gina Crisp.  He has gone from strength to strength and is now being ridden by Ayanda, Treloar’s appy, and living the life of Riley, with hooves that are now ‘normal’ and being fed copious amounts of carrots and apples, expertly cut by the many gentleladies of a Walmer Retirement home who have taken him into their hearts.

His name was Kolbooi, now known as Colby/Col B.  During a visit to sort out the owners other horses hooves this month and that have shown a great improvement over the past 6 months with proper farriery, the Unit was able to negotiate a settlement to the satisfaction of all parties and Col B is now in the permanent custody of Isabella, Rhoda, Treloar and a number of very Interested and Affected Parties.  This in turn led to his ‘appearance’ at the FOWLS (Friends of Walmer Library) event for the children of the Protea Place of Safety.  I don’t think he ever thought that life could be this good!  Well done to the Col B Consortium!

A donkey whose braying upset some Jet Park business staff and who phoned in to report it, was attended to where it was found that the owner had done the right thing by roping the donkey in a shaded and grassed area to rest and that in fact everything was OK and he was just missing his mates. 
Since January we have reacted to approximate 150 of this type of donkey call – people just concerned for the safety of the animal.  It does, however, take up time and diesel.  So we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Ingrid, Jabulani, Docters, the Racing Association Local Chapter, the National Horse Trust, Dani, the Field Marshall, Isabella, Rhoda, Tracey, and Tish who make generous monthly donations direct to the Bank Account that helps us defray the cost of diesel, and of course, fodder and Vet Bills and helps with our peace of mind. 

And of course, there are donors of time too that need to be thanked.  Our Friend, Jan Beyers, he of truck and bulldozer fame, who popped in and in a very short space of time, had removed the offending tree stump (that fell over in high winds a while ago smashing the ‘afdak’ to a thousand pieces) and promptly followed it up with a large pile of sand to be spread in the Nursery Camp.  Thank you for all you do for us, JanB, you are a very special bloke!

A Report was phoned through to us about cows on the 19th Tee at Walmer Golf Course.  We transferred this to AWS, who shortly afterwards, informed us that there were also a couple of donkeys on the 9th Tee!   Talk about working together - everybody’s problems sorted!

A Facebook appeal for money for fodder from the Highveld Horse Care Unit ended up with the East Cape Horse Care Unit depositing money into their account, for which they are very grateful, pushed as they are with resources required in responding to the plight of horses in Lesotho where a drought has caused major problems for all animals.

We have another Friend in Caryll who lives near Walmer Township and who willingly acts as a ‘road house’ for donkey treats and water.  She is also very quick to pick up problems as she did with Boesman who had a wound on his nose, probably from fighting other donkeys who have designs on ‘his’ girls.  Thank you, Caryll.

From time to time, accidents, like open gates, happen and lead to the Unit being advised of horses and donkeys in strange places.  Good neighbours get the equines off the road and into a safe place.  The next thing to do is to report it at your local Police Station, requesting an IB number – for the simple reason that you don’t want to be accused by the owner of Stock Theft!  

A Report from the residents of New Brighton township led to a young donkey being brought in to the Unit.  He was named NewBy, and he has not been claimed and we do not have owners in New Brighton.  NewBy has settled in well, giving a calming hand/hoof with the Thoroughbreds especially with vacuuming up of dropped lucerne.  He will be leaving for his new adoptive home soon.

A Report received from Linda Louise of Animal Anti Cruelty League at 6pm on a Sunday night, led to finding three donkeys and the puzzled SAPS POE (Port of Entry) Unit finding me doing funny stuff in the dark and lots of questions!   Followed by a sweet couple who were only too happy to assist with lighting and helping to guide the donkeys home.  Thank you so much!

Friend Sharon phoned through a Report she had read about on Public Servant News Network of Donkeys in Algoa Park that had the suburb in a state of shock.  We were lucky enough to find them quickly, standing under a tree, munching!   They were returned to their owner miles away and who had been searching for them for two weeks!

Our two beautiful girls, Thembi and Lady, that the owner had said were too told to pull carts anymore and that he wanted to sell out of the township, was negotiated by the Unit and subsequently left for the bestest home ever, Thembi producing a foal, Blossom, a few weeks later.  Much loved by their new owners and an answer to prayer too.

A call from Langa, Uitenhage, meant heading that way in the late afternoon for an upset owner who had found that his donkey had had an altercation with a vehicle and had come off second best.  Near fore snapped above the knee.  Collected and the right thing for the animal done.

A stray stallion visiting all and sundry in the Greenbushes area, causing mayhem in the process, was found and kept separate from the ‘ladies’ on a farm, the  owner identified and a strong suggestion re gelding made.  Negotiations continuing.

Another reason for funding:  no less than 5 punctures (including purchase of new tyres!) on the horsebox during the month due to township collections.  We requested a bulk buying discount and got it! 

On collecting a ‘donkey’ lucerne donation, we met (Alfred with very big eyes) Stripes the zebra who vented his feelings on the bakkie until he could be tempted with treats to go somewhere else.  Such a pretty equine and such a good laugh too!

It has also been a month of donations/surrenders to the Unit of horses.  Many have been adopted out and some fostered to ascertain what their future should be.  We also said a sad goodbye to Oreo, Desi, Petal and Wollie, who were adopted out during the month.  We would like to also say thank you to Eugene who comes on a regular basis to exercise the horses waiting for adoption and to iron out any kinks he might find, gently. 

Constable Gaba of the SAPS Dog Unit and animal lover, did us proud with translations to a Cartie with a donkey with a stream of blood down his leg emanating from a teeny hole.  Followed home in the pouring rain doing traffic control!

Barbara decided that she would assist with Tack Sales (and anything else that happened) on a Tuesday and Thursday between 9 and 12 noon.  Thank you, Barbara!

African Horse Sickness vaccinations kicked off the month in Humansdorp and Jeffreys Bay.  It is such a pleasure to arrive and find everybody lined up in the crush, ready to be ‘done’.  Well done, Shaun, on your organisational abilities!

On returning to feed up on the same day, we received a call of a horse knocked down and with two broken legs in Jacksonville from the distressed owner and the SAPS Mounted Unit, the necessary input from Michael of Kragga Kamma Game Park who followed us to the scene of the accident.  Poor Meid!  Her owner normally ropes his animals up to keep them away from trouble, but clearly somebody had undone the rope and let her loose.  Both off fore and hind broken above the knee and hock – no possibility of repair.  Thank you to the SAPS who did a masterful job of traffic and crowd control until the carcass was removed.  However, Facebook page Public Servant went berserk with comments as so often happens, so we put the story to bed early the next morning.

Early on a Monday morning a report came in of two horses loose on the Highway near the Seaview off ramp.  By the time we got there, their grooms had the two Thoroughbred racehorses in hand on the centre island, but the problem now was the traffic including trucks and cars driving past at 120 kph and hooting, getting the horses all uptight again!  We shepherded them with hazard lights on and Stanley and Tom on hand to assist to get them across the westbound traffic, slowing the traffic down until they were safely across.  Whew!
A close shave indeed!
Sarah Thexton arranged a 1st Birthday Party for Petal with a splendid cake made by Maria featuring icing petals – so apt.  Many of Petal’s friends came and enjoyed her birthday with her - the ‘nice’ part of the job.

The Arlington Racecourse Grounds Manager phoned with a problem – a pony running around loose at the Track.  We eventually found the Shetland pony with his owner who had come to find and collect him.

NewBy was driven to the Cat Care Birthday Fete held at the Baakens Mashee Course even though the weather was iffy and made lots of new friends thanks to the carrots given to folk to feed him.  While not happy to leave the Unit, he quickly understood that you should not look a gifthorse in the mouth and made the most of it.  His Thoroughbred companion was NOT amused at having his friend removed for two hours!
A donated cake in the shape of a donkey's head and neck was delivered to the Unit by Tracey for staff and visitors.  Thank you so much!  It was delicious.

The Grahamstown Donkey clinic on the last Friday of the month had a bumper turnout.  Enoch was very excited when given a ‘well done’ in his passport for doing as instructed for his donkey that had had a hot water burn on our previous visit and that was now healing very well.  Much excitement too about the upcoming Donkey Carnival, organised by Annerie Wolmarans for the 27th October.  On our way home, we dropped in at the SPCA to drop off a sick dog for them to tend and had a lovely chat with Jane who was very positive about the Donkey Passports that that Carties are begging for.
Nicky and Antoinette – donkey lucerne.
Dorrie – bags of leavings, already dispersed to township donkeys.
Tracey - grassmix leavings.
Two donations of lucerne leavings dropped at stables while we were out.
A donation of a box of Horse and Pony magazines.
Kragga Kamma Game Park – grass rounds.   (Alf and Tom bagged the grass to prevent wastage and thereby saving us a little fodder expense.)
The Riding Shop – a large donation of tack.

VOLUNTEERS – Arno,  Donray, Ryan, Desi, Jessica and Barbara – grooming.
IMPORTANT DATE TO DIARISE FOR THIS MONTH:  26th October for the Festival of Racing at Fairview Racecourse in aide of the Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit to bolster our funds to help ALL equines, including an evening event with a surprise popular entertainer!  Lunch Bookings open with Karen le Roux on 0798855260.

As we have now hit the main straight in the gallop towards year end, we are also waiting for Duiker to have her foal, and maybe today is the day! NOT!

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
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 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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