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Latest arrivals at the R&R

A Ghost Story: Found exhausted in the streets pulling a heavy load

Late afternoon on 11 May a little grey pony was spotted in the streets of Goodwood pulling a cart with an entire car loaded on the back. The load was so heavy that the driver of the cart as well as the guard had to help pull the load as the pony couldn't manage on his own.
Inspectors Melony and Hudith responded swiftly to the complaints and pulled them over on Halt Road. There they found poor Ghost soaked in sweat, exhausted and with a harness in dire need of repairs. It was decided to confiscate him permanently and he was transported directly to the R&R. A week later he was gelded and with a little bit of food and a lot of TLC, he is quickly on his way to recovery!

Not so Smart: Skin & Bone

Only a week earlier, inspectors had been called to a very sad scene. An emaciated chestnut horse was found working in a cart. The horse, named Smart, was not a registered working horse and was not legal on the road to begin with. Inspector Diana said she hadn't seen a horse in such a bad state in years. He was literally skin pulled over bones!
It was decided that Smart would be taken to the R&R forthwith.


Some of our gorgeous horses at the R&R

Little Alice - is she helping or hindering the raking process?

Applejack and Mama Annabelle



Dora, Olivia and Copper Penny


Jasmine and Miss Scheepers

Mama Violet and daughter Scarlette behind her

Lance, Olivia and Dora waiting for some attentions


Who your donation helped and how

We try our best to ensure that the working horses of the Cape Flats are well fed, well housed, well shod, healthy and happy in their work. Sadly, despite our hard work, some horses still need to be removed from their owners while others are voluntarily signed over.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Luckily in 2006 we received a generous bequest from the Late Estate of Bertha van Vliet which enabled us to acquire a piece of land in Gordon’s Bay. This land has been transformed into a recovery and rehabilitation centre (R&R). Here we have the facilities to house a number of horses until they are fit and healthy again.

Horses end up at the R&R for various reasons. Our two most recent acquisitions will not be strangers to you, as the news of their owners’ alleged illegal activities were well-publicised. Inspector was impounded by Law Enforcement when his owner was found in possession of a transformer housing while Thunder met the same fate after his drivers tried to sell railway tracks as scrap metal.

Neither of these boys were in terrible condition, but will nevertheless need to remain in our care until the court cases are concluded and we receive further instruction of where they are to go.


Confiscation is not the only way in which horses end up at the R&R. We have many caring owners who willingly sign over their horses when they feel that they will be better off at the R&R. Such was the case of Nasrodien Ockards when he decided to send Blondie to the R&R in the hopes that she will have a quiet retirement in our paddocks.

Merciful End
Koos was a working horse for many years. He changed owners often. He was found in his stable barely able to stand on his four inflamed, laminitic feet. We tried so hard to save him, but in the end all we could do was give him a comfortable bed, a full belly and lots of feed for his last few days…


Happy Ending for Hennesy

Handsome Hennessy is the latest kid to join the herd at the R&R.  He first appeared on the CHPA radar on Monday 11th February. His new owner had purchased him on the previous Friday and brought him into the Epping branch seeking farrier attendance. You can see from the images, Hennessy is incredibly emaciated. Our team gave him a thorough examination, the request for shoes was denied and the owner was furnished with a detailed care and feeding plan to move forward with, which of course entailed complete rest! Our priority is, and will always be, the working animal’s welfare. The team as a whole, and especially the Inspectors, work tirelessly in very challenging conditions to build a relationship of trust with communities who allow us to be an all important safety net to their working horses. In this instance Hennessy’s owner was given the benefit of the doubt, and whilst he assured us he would follow the advice he was given, he sadly reneged. Saturday morning, the whispers on the street reached the ears of the Inspector on duty that Hennessy was working in harness. Quick as lightening she was able to locate him. Hennessy was safely confiscated on the spot. No negotiation. He was taken straight to the R&R and will not be returning to his former life. Hennessy has indeed got a very long road of recovery to walk. Physically he has already started to pick up condition, however, emotionally, as is more often than not in these type of situations, he is in solid survival mode. This is by far the biggest obstacle to overcome. With time, gentle handling and copious amounts of love we are looking forward to seeing Hennessy’s personality begin to show.He is standing at a heady 14.3hh, his coat is the rich auburn of a drenched fox that’s been caught in an autumn shower, and given time, is going to fill out beautifully into a nice little horse.


Tiger's Tale

On 13 December 2012, a little colt named Tiger was born. He was barely a month old when we were called out to come and treat him for a wound. He had a large open wound on the side of his spine and was taken to Blue Cross Veterinary Clinic where he was treated by Dr Nadia de Swart. Although we could never find a clear explanation for the cause of the wound, it looked like he had been stabbed with a broken bottle neck.  He had a very good owner and this was a deliberate, malicious attack.Horses are not allowed to be put in a cart until they are at least three years old and after the wound healed he lived a happy life. When he was brought in for shoes the first time in Aug 2016, our head farrier Ashley however, noted that he had very slack pasterns and suggested that he not be used for working on the road. He would be allowed to come to Epping to fetch food, but was not to go out and "skarrel".In 2017 he was sold to a new owner and his misery began. From 2017 to now, he changed owners numerous times and was at times a major welfare concern. Our inspectors have  to adhere to the provisions of the law follow procedures, so sometimes it can be very tricky (and frustrating) to get a horse removed from unfavourable circumstances.As time passed, he was sold again and when his new owner brought him to the clinic for shoes, he was informed that Tiger was indeed booked off the road permanently and he was not allowed to work him. Our suggestions fell on deaf ears and we knew it was only a matter of time before we would catch him on the road.Sure enough, last week his original owner came to us saying that he saw him standing at the scrap yard. Inspector Diana was there in a flash and trucked the boy to the R&R where he is now recovering from his ordeal. With a lot of patience and some canny, we managed to take him out of the industry for good!


Looking back at the last month - October 2018

The excitement at the recovery centre is over, our last baby was born on the 3rd of October 2018 and what a birth it was! Nikita went into labour at 7pm and as we watched her carefully we noticed that only one little hoof was showing where there were supposed to be two. After an hour of her pushing to no avail, she was exhausted and Dr Denkahus was called for assistance. He rushed over to us and with in two minutes he had helped mommy and pulled the little soul out but she was blue! We all rushed for towels and started rubbing this little one back to life. The first breath was the happiest moment ever!With all of this going on poor Nikita was not moving and we got worried. Dr Denkhaus check her vitals and gave her pain medication and 20 minutes later she was calling out to her new bundle of joy.  This was an amazing but scary experience for us all, and a good lesson learnt.We have also had our new arrivals' teeth checked this month by Bennie Walden. He is an amazing dentist and is so calm with all our horses. We also had the wonderful JJ Terblanche come out on his off day to help Spartan with therapy. He does the most amazing body work on our horses and Spartan loved every minute of the session.We have had two new arrivals this month and had 2 adoptions and one foster; all are doing very well and happy in their new homes.Since the start of spring our green paddocks are not looking so green any more and we struggle to water them and that means our feed costs go through the roof.Please feel free to come and visit all the ponies at the recovery centre, they are always happy to see new faces and get hugs and cuddles.


Annabelle's Baby

Annabel formed part of a two pony confiscation case earlier this year. She came into the center in a very poor physical condition and as she underwent the rehabilitation process, we noticed that her stomach was growing exponentially.On 24 July we thought that she might be going into labour and kept a close eye on her. The next morning she was admitted to Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital and it turned out she had a severe case of colic. She was in immense pain and as a welfare organisation we simply could not afford a colic operation. The staff at Blue Cross were amazing and stayed up with her for two nights and she was kept comfortable. She amazed us all by passing two large lumps of plastic which she must have consumed months ago before she came to us. She recovered in a few days and was sent back to the R&R where we were now anxiously awaiting the arrival of her baby.She made us wait for a whole month and finally, on 25 August, a beautiful little boy was born!


New Babies at the R&R!

Pocket rocket Jasmine with mommy Miss Scheepers

Loving little Victoria with mommy Sara

We have two brand new spring babies at the Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre in Gordon’s Bay. Both these babies were born to mothers who had been confiscated and will never work in the carting industry.

Sara gave birth on the 8h of October to a pretty little bay filly we named Victoria. She is full of energy and just loves attention.

Earlier this year, we confiscated Miss Scheepers for being overloaded and it turned out she was also in foal. On 28 August we welcomed a new arrival in the shape of little Jasmine. She is a little pocket rocket!


Nelson Mandela Day 2017

On a chilly Tuesday morning the fundraising team, Karin Paschen and Marike Kotze together with the R&R team set up to host our Mandela Day Volunteers. The legion of tasks for the unsuspecting volunteers had been decided on beforehand and there was a lot to be done in a short space of time.

When we arrived at 8am, Jessica Barton from St Cyprian’s school was already there, eager to get going! Alexander Dupper arrived bright and early as well and just after 9:00 more volunteers arrived - Nicholas van der Merwe, Nicholas Williams, Leam Soomar and Christopher Changfoot from Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch as well as Adele Bain from MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet fundraising programme. They were put to work clearing out rubbish that had been accumulating in the barn. More volunteers arrived and things started to move at speed! The Fletchers, who are used to organising volunteers at AfrikaBurn each year, very soon organised different tasks for completion. The Godard family had a flat tyre but that did not deter them from showing up and spending the day on the roof clearing gutters. The Esterhuizen’s moved sand to surface the lunge ring. Our youngest two volunteers were pouring out water buckets and getting them ready to be filled with fresh water and sweeping the yard clean.

By the end of the day the barn and the roof were clean and the volunteers dirty and tired. A good time was had by all and we thank each person who showed up and for the difference they made!

In the meantime, some volunteers from Rawson’s property group had arrived in Epping with a wonderful donation of goods for the horses that included brushes and salt licks.


Wow, look at Bobby now!

In April we rescued an emaciated little Bobby from his backyard stable which was in an appalling state. After two months at our Recovery & Rehabilitation Centre he is looking much happier. Bobby has been fed properly and has also been gelded. He has gained a lot of weight and received some gentle handling. He is a gentle soul with so much love to give. If you can give Bobby his forever home, contact Vicki at adoptions@carthorse.org.za


JJ Terblanche treats cart horses pro bono

This month, two of our horses at the R&R were fortunate enough to be treated by JJ Terblanche from Bar-Valley Equine Therapy. JJ does body work that focuses specifically on releasing fascia, the connective tissue in the body.

Rabia has been a long-standing resident of the R&R and has always been unhappy to be touched by humans. The grooms could not even groom her without her getting aggressive. After working on her for about half an hour, JJ could touch her along her back and she was looking rather relaxed in his experienced hands.

Violet was a very lucky lady indeed and after having been at the R&R for less than 24 hours, she was seen to by JJ as well. She has been in the industry for most of her life of 18 years and enjoyed the pampering without any protest.


Surprise! Our Miracle Baby ♥

ne Sunday, 6 September 2015, we received a call-out to a sick foal. When Zelda arrived she found the foal in a bad way – covered in lice, listless and so flat he had to be assisted into the horsebox, where he collapsed. Suspecting colic, Zelda trucked him to Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital. He was too weak to stand and had to be turned over every 2 hours with assistance from the hospital staff. We suspect that his wounds were as a result of a hit and run and his sores from lying down for too long. Five days later he was admitted to the Recovery & Rehabilitation Centre, where his fight for life continued. He received around the clock care and after a month of intensive rehabilitation he regained his strength, began to pick up weight and started sporting a beautiful new coat. His owner then signed him and four of his other horses over to us. We continued to nurture and spoil our Surprise! He has a sweet personality, is just over 2 years old, and looking for a loving, caring forever home, where he can grow to be the horse he is meant to be.



  1. Avatar

    Andrea Rubin

    R9,000 raised

  2. Avatar

    Hana P

    R6,530 raised

  3. Avatar

    Linzi Cowley

    R1,750 raised

  4. Avatar

    Megan White

    R20 raised

5 Fundraiser projects


  1. Jo Bouwhuis

    30 April

  2. Jo Bouwhuis

    31 March

  3. Jo Bouwhuis

    28 February

168 Donations