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April 2010

Well, another year has come and gone for the New Turf Carriers Derby Weekend, which is the principle reason for the lateness of this newsletter.  Weeks of preparation and planning went into a hectic weekend on the 7th and 9th May, finally pulling the plans together, so that it has been difficult to keep up with the daily routines.

We have to pay tribute to Mark and Dorrie Sham of New Turf Carriers for including us in ‘their’ weekend, Karin le Roux and Luciano Passerini of Phumelela for assistance with planning, but not forgetting Sharon at Animal Welfare Society and various members of her staff who contributed to the festivities and activities, and last but not least, the Unit staff who have had to hop, skip and jump from time to time.

Thanks for their participation also goes to:
Mr ‘Baby’ Muller – Donkey Cart Competition Judge
Kiara Done – for a Quadrille race in-betweener done by her riding School pupils
Tess ‘Sandals B & B’ St Francis for the raffle prize
Karien – for being ‘gofer’ and Steward to the Judge
Cobus – for being responsible for getting the carrots and dishing them out
Mr Penrose – for his donation of Lucerne as prizes for the Carters
One Stop Trophy Shop – for a beautiful floating trophy for the Soccer Event
December Goduka – Soccer Tournament organizer and Floating Trophy winner
Aidon Bronyx and ‘four legged friend’ – for a rapid-fire attack dog show
Treloar Childs – for giving an entertaining educational talk to 4 schools on Friday 7th at Fairview
W/O Hansen – Walmer Police Station for the educational talk on the lawful handling of animals to the same four schools
All the participants who took part in the AWS Wagwalk on Sunday morning on Arlington Racecourse – literally droves of them, adding to the ‘natural obstacles’ for the Donkey competition.
Popsitheclown – for facepainting and balloon twisting for the children.
William Gidwa – for being best Turned out, and
Eugene – for being the best Obstacle Course driver.
William, Patrick, Moses, Eugene and Marjory – for participating in the donkey events
And finally
The SAPS Mounted Unit’s Varkie, Silver Sword*, Gabotse and Regal Royal* and their riders as Lead In horses.

*Both ex racehorses donated to the Mounted Unit by Villa Felice Stud.

Of course, the 8th May just happened to be the International Day of the Donkey, which was extremely well timed to coincide with the Derby Weekend.

Well done to all!

However, back to April 2010.

Initial complaints – 3
Equines inspected – 21 horses
Recheck inspections – 22 horses
Township inspections – 17
Equines inspected – 60 donkeys
Road Spot checks/moved off roads/motorist complaints/AWS transfers – 4
Equines involved – 12 donkeys
Country trips – 2
Equines inspected/treated – 7 horses, 30 donkeys
Collection of dead equines – 1 donkey
Equines in for medical treatment – 4 donkeys
Adopted/Rehomed – 3 donkeys
Fostered – 1 donkey
Returned to owners – 6 donkeys
Euthanased – 2 donkeys

Now to the diary for the month:

Let us start with Easter Weekend.  Thanks to Liezl ‘spelling’ with me, the other staff was released from duty to attend to religious matters.  Sally and Karien took turns as well, so all told the horses and donkeys were fed and watered and Braveheart had his lunch every day!  We even managed to rehome 2 donkeys to their new home and complete a large amount of data capture to the Client database.

Much to my mortification, Braveheart went down with Cynanchum poisoning.  You would think that I would have had it removed a long time ago, but with the sudden onset of rainy weather, we all know how one minute there is nothing to see and the next, the creeper has gone berserk up every fence and tree in sight!  And of course the foal was going to have a nibble, wasn’t he!  With supportive therapy from the Vet and some of our own, we managed to pull him through, but not before we were weary with trying to think of what to do next!   One of our Patient/Clients had his own problem with Cynanchum, but we were able to assist him when he phoned frantically requesting help.   At the end of the day, we are now all eagle eyed for the creeper that gets rooted out the minute we see it.

In the middle of the AWAD planning, Sharon and I found ourselves ‘hijacked’ by the young men of ‘In Their Shoes’, the project involving young people who were ‘living out’ for a week or so to see what very many endure on a daily basis.  They were very grateful for the lift we gave them to Walmer Park.

Crime came knocking at our door a few times too.  Efforts were made to remove the outside spotlight on two consecutive evenings, using the Pen gates as a ladder.  A case was opened at the Police Station.

After a long and eventful life and finishing off with a sterling job of being surrogate gogo (grandmama) to Braveheart, Trudi, the Animal Welfare Society donkey mare, was euthanased on a warm day before Winter struck.  She had been taken in by AWS many years ago, but over the last few months she had deteriorated and we decided to do the ‘right’ thing for her, as is our responsibility.    Braveheart has been ‘adopted’ to Matilda, another grand dame and they are really sweet together.

Moses’ Lady specially waited for a Braveheart night feed so that she could foal down at the same time, bless her heart.  Colin is growing daily and gives his mother real jip - when he is not sleeping that is.

Stanley is doing a great job of harness making with us receiving requests from far and wide, including the Karoo, for harnessing.

Donations of tack have been sorted by Kiara and tack purchases concluded.   A surprise donation of 50kg bags of Mielie Meal received and some of it distributed to Carters, a crèche in need and added to donkey food. 

And then, thanks to Denise Kerr who put pen to paper, the Unit ‘won’ a Washezi non electrical, water saving, washing machine.   What a surprise!  Thank you, Denise.

We even spent a whole day clearing, cleaning and slaving away in the Girls Camp having paid three men to give added muscle to our labours.  Just a little more work and I will be happier with the camp.

We are already half way through the month and Winter is surely here, so keep warm.

M

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