Horses in South Africa are used in a wide array of activities. They are very effectively utilised in poorer communities as draught animals, for general transport and as an agile means of tracking stock animals in remote and rural areas where motorised vehicles are inadequate or unavailable. Horses are also extensively used in sport and leisure and in some cases are considered champion athletes that can have large commercial values attached to them.
Source: Otto Koekemoer, ARC-OVR
International business environment
To find out about the international business environment :
- Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) – visit www.fei.org
- International Horse Sports Confederation – http://horsesport.org
- International Equine Body Worker Association (IEBWA) – www.iebwa.com
- International Federation of Horseracing Authorities – www.ifhaonline.org
South Africa: import and export
The export of horses from South Africa first go to Mauritius, then to the European Union, and from there to the USA, Australia or wherever. As can be imagined, this adds to the costs of equine exports. This is as a result of the protocols set in place by the World Health Organisation after an outbreak of African Horse Sickness in 2011. A two-year ban is put in place each time there is an outbreak, after which an audit is done. After several outbreaks an audit was scheduled in April 2020; however, the COVID-19 lockdown has caused an indefinite delay in the resumption of exports.
Previously, the horse racing industry employed about 60 000 people and contributed an estimated R3-billion per annum to the economy (Cameron, 2020).
National strategy and government contact
African horse sickness (AHS) is a notifiable disease in South Africa – all suspected cases have to be reported to a State Vet. Cases have to be confirmed at the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) reference centre for African horse sickness at the ARC-OVR. Visit www.oie.int and for more information. A PDF on AHS can be accessed at www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Animal_Health_in_the_World/docs/pdf/Disease_cards/AFRICAN_HORSE_SICKNESS.pdf.
- SA Equine Health & Protocols (SAEHP) Tel: 021 001 4363 http://jdata.co.za/myhorse
- Find the Western Cape Department of Agriculture‘s Veterinary Services webpages at www.elsenburg.com.
- Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) Find details of different directorates like Animal Health and Animal Production at www.dalrrd.gov.za (take the “Branches” option). Other relevant government departments include Trade, Industry and Competition; Higher Education, Science and Technology; and Sports, Arts and Culture. Find details of all government departments at www.gov.za.
SA Stud Book Association Tel: 051 410 0900 www.sastudbook.co.za
The following are affiliated to SA Stud Book:
- Appaloosa Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
- Arab Horse Society of SA
- Cape Boerperd Breeders’ Society of SA
- Friesian Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
- Hackney Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
- Nooitgedacht Horse Breeders’ Society
- Percheron Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
- SA Boerperd Breeders’ Society
- SA Minature Horse Breeders’ Society
- Saddlebred Breeders’ Society of SA
- SA Paint and Pinto Club
- SA Quarter Horse Association
- SA Sport Horse Federation
- SA Vlaamperd Breeders’ Society
- Welsh Pony and Cob Society of SA
Other societies include the SA Warmblood Horse Society, Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of SA, Standardbred Breeders Association of SA, Trotteurs Francais Breeders Association of SA, SA Hackney Pony Breeders’ Society and South African Lipizzaners.
South African Equestrian Federation (SAEF) Tel: 011 468 3236 www.saef.org.za
SAEF falls under the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI – visit www.fei.org), which governs the sport internationally. Most of the following are SANEF-affiliated bodies and groups:
- Carriage Driving Association of South Africa
- Council of Equine and Equestrian Professionals (CEEPSA)
- Dressage SA
- Endurance Ride Association of South Africa
- Equestrian Coaches Association of South Africa
- Equestrian Qualifications Authority of Southern Africa
- Eventing South Africa
- KZN Breeders
- KZN Dressage
- KZN Pony Club
- Mounted Archery Association South Africa
- National Horseracing Authority
- Polocrosse Association of South Africa
- Showing Association of South Africa
- South African Association of Professional Farriers
- South African Equestrian Tentpegging Association
- South African Equine Veterinary Association
- South African Equitation Association (SAEQA)
- South African Mounted Games Association
- South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA)
- South African Polo Association
- South Africa Showjumping
- South African Western Mounted Games Association (SAWMGA)
- Soweto Equestrian Centre
- The Racing Association
- Trotting South Africa
- Vaulting Association of South Africa
Watching out for the welfare of horses:
Highveld Horse Care Unit Tel: 081 573 4093 Emergencies: 082 921 1644 www.horsecare.org.za This is the largest equine welfare organisation in the southern hemisphere, addressing all aspects of equine welfare and covering an area of over 4000 km2 – Musina to Kimberly. They have five inspectors whose work includes educating owners on how to care for their working horses/donkeys, and assisting with primary care: harnessing, wound treatments, deworming etc.
- The Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit in Port Elizabeth deals mainly with working horses and donkeys in the many townships in the area. Call 041 366 1594, 072 357 2505 or click on the name for their website.
- The Coastal Horse Care Unit is based in KwaZulu-Natal.
- To find out about the Western Cape Horse Care Unit, visit https://capespca.co.za. (All SPCAs respond to and investigate cruelty to all species, including equine. Find details at www.nspca.co.za).
National Horse Trust Tel: 011 683 4388/9 www.nationalhorsetrust.org.za A programme developed, unique to South Africa, to reduce potential neglect and deterioration of Thoroughbreds after their racing careers.
Rehabilitation of neglected horses:
Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) Tel: 021 535 3435 Report cart horse abuse: 082 6 599 599 http://carthorse.org.za Over the past years, the CHPA has established regular clinics, introduced the sale of subsidised feed, a farrier service and veterinary care. With 70% of income going directly to benefit the horses, the enforcement of relevant provisions of the Animal Protection Act and education of cart horse owners, CHPA has successfully improved the condition and standard of many cart horses on our roads today.
Training and research
- Read about the AgriSETA General Education and Training Certificate: Equine and Equestrian Practices at http://regqs.saqa.org.za/viewQualification.php?id=58493
- ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Research (ARC-OVR) Tel: 012 529 9111 www.arc.agric.za As part of national efforts to control of African Horsesickness (AHS) in South Africa, the OVI fulfils two important functions – research and disease surveillance.
- Beaulieu College Equestrian Academy Tel: 011 468 2114 www.kyalamischools.org/beaulieu-college/home
- Cedara College of Agriculture Tel: 033 355 9304/5 Equine Diploma, Training and facilities on site
- Council of Equine and Equestrian Professionals Tel: 012 660 2696 www.ceepsa.org
- Damelin Equestrian Academy Tel: 011 948 9801 / 082 871 5467
- Elsenburg Agricultural Training Institute Structured Agricultural Education and Training Tel: 021 808 7702/98 www.elsenburg.com Equine Studies follows the EQASA qualification (Equine Qualifications Authority of SA). Modules 1-3 are studies in the first year and modules 4 & 5 in the second year
- Equestrian Academy Tel: 021 903 9568 www.equestrianacademy.co.za
- Equine Qualifications Authority of Southern Africa Tel: 044 871 5331 www.sanip.org.za
- Equine Research Centre (ERC) Tel: 012 529 8068 www.up.ac.za/equine-research-centre The ERC was established to provide scientific and veterinary services to the horseracing and breeding industry. The Centre is situated within the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort.
- Equine-Librium Tel: 044 533 9513 http://equine-librium.co.za
- PCI Agricultural Services Tel: 072 011 0687 www.pciagri.co.za
- REC Equestrian Academy Tel: 072 247 2929 http://academyrec.co.za
- South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA) http://sanesa.co.za Find provincial contact details on the website
- South African Jockey Academy Tel: 031 769 1103 www.facebook.com/SAJockeyAcademy Satellite campuses in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and Gauteng.
- The School of Equine Management Excellence Tel: 033 263 1081 www.summerhill.co.za
- Tshwane University of Technology Department of Animal Science Tel: 012 382 5332 www.tut.ac.za
- University of Pretoria (UP) Faculty of Veterinary Science Tel: 012 420 3111 www.up.ac.za See also the earlier-listed Equine Research Centre (ERC).
Websites and publications
Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.
- Visit www.kejafa.com, website of Kejafa Knowledge Works, for publications which include: (i) The Complete Equine Veterinary Manual Tony Pavord & Marcy Pavord (ii) Die SA Boerperd (a full colour Afrikaans publication) (iii) Natural Horse Care Pat Coleby (iv) Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses (breeding, care, facilities) Heather Smith Thomas (v) Storey’s Guide to Training Horses (ground work, driving, riding) Heather Smith Thomas.
- Call Horse Books Unlimited at 011 315 5333 for horse books, DVDs and CD-ROMs. Their website is www.hbun.webs.com.
- HQ, “South Africa’s Premier Equestrian Magazine”. Visit https://hqmagazine.co.za.
- A Guide to Animal Diseases in South Africa – Horses, Donkeys and Mules by Pamela Oberem is available from Afrivet. Visit www.afrivet.co.za.
- Find the “Horses” option at https://wikifarmer.com.
- Grandin, T. & Johnson, C. (2005). Animals in Translation. London: Bloomsbury.
- Find books, DVDs and other resources at www.horsekeeping.com
- Find the many articles at https://horse.co.za.
- Jooste R. 2020, December 8. “The rate of South African equine exports is plummeting and jobs in the industry are haemorrhaging”. Daily Maverick. Available at www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-12-08-the-rate-of-south-african-equine-exports-is-plummeting-and-jobs-in-the-industry-are-haemorrhaging/
- Cameron J. 2020, May 8. “Animals, jobs culled as horse racing faces collapse in Covid-19 ‘insanity’: John Freeman”. BizNews. Available at www.biznews.com/thought-leaders/2020/05/08/animals-jobs-horse-racing-covid-19
- Reporter. 2018, November 26. “New hope in fight against African Horse Sickness”. University of Cape Town. Available at www.news.uct.ac.za/article/-2018-11-26-new-hope-in-fight-against-african-horse-sickness [a promising vaccine from tobacco plants]
- Find “Horses” under the “Animals” option at www.farmersweekly.co.za. One particluarly interesting one for farmers is “Keeping chickens in the stables” at www.farmersweekly.co.za/animals/horses/keeping-chickens-in-the-stables/.
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