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June 2007

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African Horse Sickness Drama
With the death of a horse and positive identification by Onderstepoort of the dreaded Horse Sickness, the Department of Agriculture has spent time with me this past month, doing vaccinations in the surrounding areas of Rocklands.  The fun part was trying to get a tab on horses in that area and then getting the job done, climbing over fences, wrestling horses and donkeys that are simply not used to be handled.
 
Without the considerable assistance of Eleni, Loretta and Russell, Luyanda and I would have been pulling our hair out but as they 'came to my party', thankfully Luyanda and I are both still sane and sensible.

Animal Behaviour
How often have we all said:  If only they could talk.   How true this is.  I have now seen it a couple of times, and I am sure there are those that will concur.  Horses brought in or surrendered to my care, having not had access to sufficient feed are a case in point.   I have noticed how their mindset is negative, they are headshy and completely suspicious of one's motives, and many with behavioural bad attitudes.   However, once they realise that there is no harm going to be inflicted, they very slowly start the acceptance mode, and of course feed plays a huge part in this.  Gee whizz!  I better clean my plate before they take it or me away from it all.  And they eat and eat and eat!  It is only when you see that hindquarter fat wobble, that you twig.   And then they roll. Or stand at the fence, chilling or chatting to other inmates instead of the obsessive/compulsive eating.   Why?  Why do they not roll at first - too bony? too sore?  But what a great thing to see:  the rolling and then the shaking off of excess sand accompanied by the wobble!  Or a leap and a pronk.  It goes straight to my heart. Thankfully all have found homes that will love and cherish them.

Collection Tins
In getting my ducks in a row, I find that the Collection Tins dotted around Port Elizabeth have yielded up the sum of  R2590.86 since we started.   Just goes to show how those jolly 1c, 2c and 5c add up!  Thank you to all contributors!

Report from Tracey Vink on the Comedy Evening
Phumelela East Cape hosted a Comedy Evening with Eddie Ecksteen at Arlington on the 16th Masy.  The who's who of the racing world in PE were welcomed by Graham Hawkins and then the laughter started for over an hour as Eddie took to the stage.  A light meal was served to all the guests as well as my friend Lisa who put on a belly dancing show.  A good time was had by all.
 
Local PE artists, Marius Lourens, had a painting up for sale for R850.00 which Graham proceeded to auction off for R2000.00 to Mark Sham from New Turf Carriers.

Report from Tracey Vink on the Derby Weekend
Mark and Dorrie Sham from New Turf Carriers are the new sponsors for this weekend and chose the ECHCU to benefit from racing on Friday 18th May at Fairview.  Race sponsors were Hollywood Bets, Hertz Car Hire, Spiros Yerolemou and Mrs Britz.  A very big thank you to all concerned especially Karin Le Roux for putting it all together (Comedy Nite and Raceday).
 
On top of these events, Phumelela East Cape also sponsored a weekend for two people to the Durban July, all expenses paid.  Tickets were on sale for R10 for a lucky draw which was drawn on Saturday 19th May after the days racing.  Mr Kleynhans was the lucky recipient of that prize.
 
So from the Comedy Nite, painting audtion, Raceday and the lucky draw, I was presented with a cheque of R20,000.00.  Once again, to everybody who has helped me in the past and who I know will be there for me in the future - Thank you so much, Tracey.

Future Fund Raising Events
The big one to come, once Humewood Golf Course gives me an exact date, is a Golf Day - probably in September/October.  So anyone who is interested in a four ball or sponsoring a hole please do not hesitate to contact me anytime - Traci 083 538 3028.
 
Using my skills as a hairdresser and roping some of my colleagues in, we want to do a cut-a-thon end of July.  Time and Place to be finalised and somewhere in amongst all that I would like to have another casual dinner/dance at the Old Cash Store - just to keep the kitty ticking over.
 
I will be keeping Megan updated on all these events with her monthly newsletter.  If you can't wait please feel free to call me if you have any queries or if you want to sponsor the Golf Day etc.

THE BASIL BARTLETT MEMORIAL GARDEN
In June last year, I approached Jenny Danoher to make a Basil Bartlett Memorial Garden at the stables.  The reasoning behind this was because Basil actually had a hand in the designing and building of the barn, along with Neil Danoher, and it seemed appropriate that Jenny who is a dab hand at gardening, put in her bit.  She donated the lavender plants and did the planting and neatening up, including installing a bird bath with her gardening.  When I water the plants, and get that smell of lavender I always think of Basil and wonder if he knows that we remember him often and that the ECHCU is installed in 'his' building.

SALAD DAYS
And then we have Anne Pook who makes dog food.  And regularly over the past year, I have received the sms saying 'Veg 4 donkeys'.  The carrot tops and cabbage leaves are doled out to first any donkeys that might be visiting with us, or taken to the townships.  These are received by donkeys and their owners with glee.  Recently an owner approached the bakkie and asked 'Where's the salad?' at which I went blank, and asked what she was talking about.  Of course, she was referring to the carrot tops and cabbage leaves!  So, now, it is referred to as Donkey Salad.

WINTER DAYS
We have also received many donations of lucerne sweepings, old lucerne, and bags and bales of lucerne from various folk during June.  Much of this has gone into the townships where it is most needed, especially as we all know that grass does not grow in the winter months, and so grazing is scarce.  My thanks to the donors.

MONTH END
To finish off the month, I was approached to 'supply' a donkey cart with donkeys and driver for wedding photographs.  So, there we stood, William and I, at the corner of 10th Avenue and Villiers Road, Walmer, getting some serious eyeballing by the passing 5 o'clock traffic.   In due course, the bride and groom arrived and some beautiful pictures were taken that will remind them of home when they return to work in England.  William was paid a handsome sum of money so he was happy, and I was given a donation to the ECHCU for my 'trouble' in organising the cart.  I am trying to encourage this type of activity and thank the Welch family for giving us the opportunity to do something different.

TAIL END
And, then, we had an unexpected arrival.  A donkey on the Schoenies Road followed an AWS van into the premises, walked over to Camp 1, had a drink of water and began eating left over stalks of lucerne!   Talk about knowing what side your bread is buttered.  Word has been sent out through my donkey owners so that they know where the 'missing' donkey is and in due course I am sure he will be claimed by his owner - but, what a clever donk!!

YEAR END
The ECHCU has been operational for a year - and what a year it has been!   And with all sorts of exciting things planned for the future (at this stage, all is under wraps!).  So I am going to take some down time, all the 'patients' have been advised, and I will return in due course, hopefully refreshed and ready to rumble!
 
M
 

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