NATIONAL HORSE TRUST NEWSLETTER – APRIL 2016
We hope that this year will be a good one for you and your family. Notwithstanding our bleak economic outlook in South Africa and indeed around the globe, we are so grateful to our loyal supporters who have made it possible for us to continue. We wish you to know how much you are valued and how much you assist us with your kindness and generosity, we could never do what we do without your support! May you be richly blessed.
We have sent to you your annual membership renewal notice. We would appreciate if each member would be kind enough to encourage a friend or family member to become a member of the National Horse Trust. We would also like to remind you that the My Village Card is an excellent way of supporting the Trust, so if you do not have a card or you can perhaps kindly encourage someone to obtain this card, we would be very grateful to you. The contact number is 086010045 for obtaining the card, with the National Horse Trust as beneficiary.
We will communicate the dates for our fundraising events planned for the year, but please also visit our website at www.nationalhorsetrust.org.za, as well as face book, for information.
The killer drought has resulted in so many animals without sufficient food and water and the horses are no exception. The Units have been inundated with horses whose owners can no longer afford to keep them and many have been found in terrible conditions.
The Highveld Horse Care Unit is continuing to make a huge difference in the informal settlements with their clinics and training workshops and many horses are receiving treatment and assistance. During the first quarter of 2016, the Unit assisted 845 equines. The Highveld Horse Care Unit is experiencing a difficult problem with a dealer in one of the informal settlements, who buys Thoroughbreds from livestock auctions. This gentleman then takes them to his property which is totally unsuitable for horses. He transports these horses in a dangerous and un-roadworthy vehicle. Many times these horses are totally unsuitable for resale for they are either too old, too young, wild, in very poor condition or crippled. This once again highlights the need for responsible re homing of horses and particularly Thoroughbreds at the end of their racing careers!
The Coastal Horse Care Unit is experiencing a similar influx of horses due to the drought and the grazing at the Unit has been affected as a result. The shortage of hay which is foreseen during the winter months poses a huge problem for all the Units and horse owners. We congratulate the Unit on becoming a progressive and innovative organization! They have received funding from the Department of Treasury for the completion of their Training Centre! Well done! The Unit’s Rural Outreach Programme is going from strength to strength and the trust of rural horse owners in the Unit is growing, resulting in more horses being helped.
The Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit is being kept busy as always, responding to many calls for assistance. The Unit would like to thank Cape Wire for their donation which has enabled the Unit to replace tatty fences. Tetanus appears to be a particular problem in the Kwanobuhle area and the Unit’s education programme continues.
The lack of good and safe fencing put two stray horses on a busy road and the Unit assisted in getting them off the road and securing a temporary safe place for them.
We are extremely happy to announce that after a long period of time and much hard work by all participants, a new rule of the National Horse Racing Authority has recently come into effect. The responsibility for a Thoroughbred’s welfare at the end of its racing career now rests with the owner of the horse. A Thoroughbred leaving a trainer’s yard has to have a veterinary certificate of good health and soundness for re homing purposes. This is really good news, as we hope to see a drastic reduction in the number of ex race horses that are unsound and in inappropriate homes. We call on owners/trainers to fully embrace this and ensure the best possible future for each horse after racing.