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March 2013 newsletter


When I arrived at work this morning to complete this newsletter, I wondered for a moment if, as it is the lst April, Public Holiday, somebody was not playing a joke on me.  I was wrong!  An attempted break in through the office window during the night, foiled by the industrial strength burglar bars, rawl bolted into the walls that were made in June 2006 for just such an occasion as this!  Gotcha!  The midnight ‘visitors’ to AWS reception were moved on by application of the panic button by the nightwatchman.  Just more of the same.

We started off March with a rash of wandering horses and after a touch of searching, all were returned to their respective homes.  Thank you to those who helped them to find their various ways home!

Our monthly/four week routine visit to the Humansdorp equines was good – all except for one horse looking Acceptable, numnahs and halters, hoof picks, dip, bridles supplied to those that needed them.  These items have all been donated by YOU. Thank you.

A teenager outside a shopping centre advised that a Walmer township donkey had been hurt, and was followed up by a SAPS Reservist on patrol in the township who also alerted us to the problem.  The problem was attended to and it was found that the jack had been fighting and had received some wounds in the process.

Another Cartie found his drawbar broken but with the odds and sods in the Unit rafters, he was able to make his cart workable again and then having fixed it, the cart and donkeys were taken by somebody else while waiting at Supa Quick 6th Avenue.   In due course, with Stanley bringing reinforcements, the cart and donkeys were found and the ‘thief’ reprimanded and made to drive it home.

Whitey, Daisy and Blackie have taken to bringing themselves in to the Unit, much to the chagrin of their owner, Moses, but definitely not to us.  Clearly they have taken a page out of Rich’s book and just saunter in.

A Facebook alert was received of a horse running around a local Golf Course, but because it was not phoned or sms’d through, by the time we got to the problem, the horse had already been collected by the groom.  This in turn led to a visit to the stables where it was at Livery only to find that, again, somehow the horse had bolted during a very windy night.  So often we find that farm gates are left open, leading to horses in ‘wrong’ places.   Unfortunately, the complaint was posted again later in the week, leading to a further visit to the Golf Course, who were surprised as they had no record of the horse on the Course again.

Our Newby (stray in New Brighton some months ago and never claimed) returned to us briefly to be gelded.  As Rooibos had also found a new home, we did both donkey geldings at the same time, which was a bit startling for Rhoda, who popped in for a visit, and found a donkey down on the ground with everybody assisting.  Both donkeys now back at their respective homes, Rooibos letting the entire neighbourhood know how happy he is with his old friends in their new home.

A Complaint received of donkeys stray near the airport was attended to, but although we checked, the donkeys had ‘disappeared’ into the night.  Only to be joined by a couple of others the next morning.  Our staff assisted the owners to get them back to their township homes.

A very pleasant afternoon was had at the PE Golf Club where Gillian had arranged a Golf Day in aide of the Unit.  Much fun was had by all, especially those who participated in the Marshmallow Driving Competition – where a marshmallow takes the place of the golf ball.  It was so funny to see how the marshmallow did not find any distance at all, no matter how hard they were driven.   Thank you to all the Sponsors as well as the participants and also to Gillian for organizing the afternoon.  It was very nice to sit in the 19th hole in the early evening and chat. 

Another Complaint of a horse collapsing at the local Riding Club Show was attended to and is being monitored on its return home.  

Another welfare organisation passed on a message about a donkey with unbalanced hooves that was attended to by Stanley and Tom.  Thank you, Maria.

We were able to assist a Cartie looking for his donkeys when Friend Phrosne sent us an mms showing which donks thereby enabling us to tell the owner where they could be found.

St Joseph’s Primary School popped in with a couple of students to take pictures for their Easter Play and Aunty  Nestle did the honours.

A call received from Motherwell led to Stanley and Alfred, with assistance from our SAPS Colonel, collecting a donkey with a broken hind fetlock and taking him for euthanasia.

The Unit has received a number of Complaints involving about 40 horses this past month and these have been attended to, along with some Rechecks, and these will continue to be monitored.

Konkie and Liefie decided to make use of the groom leaving the gate open and found themselves in the midst of early morning weekday traffic – causing much consternation for motorists.  Luckily they are well mannered children and on being called by Liza, followed her quite happily off the road.  Whew!

When the horsebox needed some running repairs, our friendly Lester (Lesters 041 368 5198) did them, plus other repairs he thought necessary, all at no charge.   Thank you, Lester!

Perhaps to Dream and Domino were adopted out, along with Stompie at foster just to keep them both under control.

A galloping horse found on Boundary Road heading up the steep hills into Mount Pleasant and a main road, had Tom and I beside ourselves as we were unable to stop him – he was determined to ‘move on’.  We managed eventually to turn him but not without almost getting connected by four vehicles.  I don’t know about the drivers of the vehicles, but I wanted to be sick!   It could have turned out so differently.  We finally managed to corner him and when his grooms arrived, watched him walking sedately back home, with not a care in the world after his adventure!  Which is more than what Tom and I were feeling!

The four weekly visit to Grahamstown with Ayanda to assist was extremely hot but led to 20 odd donkeys being inspected or having their hooves trimmed as they were unbalanced, as well as a number of dewormings and orders for harnessing.  Thank you to Vivienne who came along to see what went on and for her generous donation and company!

Patrick, a Walmer Cartie, brought his Stefaan in as he had a penetrating wound just behind his ear on his neck.  Initially Stefaan behaves well when being cleaned up and treated, but as he starts healing and feeling better, he becomes a real tiger to catch!  He really is very cute and ‘easy to read’.

Two Unit Friends, Di and Carolyn, passed away during this past month – they will both be greatly missed.

Our first clinic to Bergsig began with a food stripe – if you put food out in a pile, some animals don’t want to share, so we do it in a stripe along the ground.  Some equines were brought in by their owners, but others just brought themselves along.  Some had their hooves done by Stanley, others were dewormed and various wounds attended to.  All in all a good visit and so well done to Robyn and the Kirkwood ladies who are very much Interested and Affected Parties in the welfare of the equines in their area.

A National Rideathon on behalf of all three Horse Care Units is currently being arranged.  Booked for the 12th May 2013 and all are welcome to ride at home, with friends in the busy, at their Livery Stables.  Time Table and poster available on request from This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or from the relevant area organiser.  Come on and let’s make a Statement on this day.

SupaQuick 6th Avenue Walmer, did a quick job of sorting out our hardworking horsebox puncture problem – 2 nail holes fixed at no charge.  Thank you, kind sirs!

It being Easter, a local church asked us if we could bring a donkey on Palm Sunday to their service.  As I have waited years for this kind of request, we took Noodle to visit and she was just so loved and petted by the congregants and behaved like a consumate professional.

It was about this time that the work cellphone went missing, putting both Stanley and I into an absolute tizz.  Stanley however managed to have it returned by the person who had picked it up.  Unfortunately she had taken it with her to East London!  Fekizwe very kindly made arrangements to have it returned to PE with a taxi, and it finally got home.  Panic over.

But not before I had arranged a sim swop, and although we missed the distress calls about a donkey damaged on Mission Road, the SPCA Uitenhage was able to dead bolt the animal that had a very broken hind leg inflicted by a truck – he did not stand a chance.  We went and collected the carcass and that upset the township dogs who were looking forward to a snack.  Thank you, Deon, for doing the task.

We were also able to assist an out of towner with the collection and euthanasia of her horse. Ngolobe’s donkey was not so lucky and was euthanased with a near hind broken in four places leg.

SOS TRAIL RUN SERIES dates to diarise:  15 June, 21 July and 10 August 2013.  Last year’s Trail Runs were enjoyed by all and Sharon really puts her ‘back into it’.   Entry forms will be forthcoming.

The ECHCU Raceday was very pleasant, chatting, eating and just ‘hanging ten’.  Thank you to all the Sponsors and Western Shoppe Raffle Ticket buyers and the one and only Dorrie.

And so to Easter Saturday.  A rapid productive visit to Humansdorp in rain ended with lunch and a sleep.  Just as well as the Grahamstown donkey that had a bad wound to his neck had reappeared and calls were received that we must come ‘quickly’ after trying to get an assessment of the damage for three days.  I duly collected him and after a visit to the Vet for a report and treatment, he was put in the pen until his wound is on its way to healing.  But it was a loooong day.

Donations Received:
Carla and Eco Ground Cover Landscapers - a bakkie load of fresh cut grass.
Peter Enslin – 26 bags shavings.
Claire – 3 grass rounds.
Peter and Mary - who assisted with cutting and feeding …
Rhoda’s donated watermelons.
Zenna and Graham – 20 bales grassmix.
Alison – 3 bales grass mix from her photoshoot.
Tammy - 18 grassmix bales.

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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