Are There Horses In South Africa

Maria Garcia
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 20 min read

Their history started in 1653 when the Dutch East India Company brought the first horses to the country. Over the years, a number of Arabian horses were used to improve the quality of the breed.

africa south horse horses chestnut african boerperd
(Source: www.youtube.com)


Later these local horses were combined with thoroughbred bloodstock to further improve the breed. The Cape Horse was hardy, could survive on meager rations and grazing and was a very comfortable ride.

The harsh conditions and bad grazing in Lesotho stunted their growth and made the horses tougher. The other two breeds which have originated under South African skies are the Nooitgedacht Pony and the SA Clamped.

It is used for polo, dressage, show jumping and hacking and is a favorite for children. The Bantam Horse came about by crossing Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and local Cape mares.

More recently, Frisian stallions were bred with Bantam Mares as were Oldenburg's and Cleveland Bays. The resulting Clamped have emerged as a good-natured horse breed with graceful conduct and a stylish high-stepping action.

Name English name if differentReported fromNotesImage Abyssinian Ethiopia Bahr-El-Ghazal Chad ALADI Egyptian Egypt Niagara Mali, Niger Barb Algeria, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia Lesotho Pony Lesotho Beledougou Mali Beirut Pony Nigeria Bob Burkina Faso Border Botswana, South Africa Born Nigeria Calvin South Africa extinct Cape Harness South Africa extinct Cape Horse South Africa Coeval de Nioro Mali Dermal Niger Domain Mali Angola Chad, Eritrea, Mali, Sudan English Halibut Horse South Africa European Warm blood South Africa Leave Senegal FOTA Senegal Haldane :122 Tunisia Hausa Mali, Niger, Nigeria Hod Mali, Mauritania Koto-Koli Pony Benin, Togo Le money DES Moods Tunisia M' Par Senegal M'Bayer Senegal Moss Burkina Faso Nam aqua Pony South Africa extinct Najib Horse South Africa Nephew Pony Tunisia extinct Nooitgedachter Botswana, South Africa Money du Logon Chad SA Miniature Horse South Africa SA Sporting horse South Africa SA Warm Blood South Africa Sahel Mali Somali Pony Somalia Songhai Mali Sudan Country-Bred Sudan Surabaya Nigeria Tailed Sudan Torrid Niger Tswana Botswana Clamped South Africa West African Barb Algeria, Chad, Ghana, Mauritania, Senegal, Tunisia West African Angola Central African Republic, Sudan West African Pony Ghana Western Sudan Pony Sudan Height Burkina Faso ^ Breeds in Africa : Horse. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

horses wild namibia feral history herd risk only namib desert africa
(Source: ihearthorses.com)

Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The origin of the horse starts with the founding of Dutch settlements in the Cape, at the tip of South Africa and not from Europe as might be expected.

The South African Border has remained untouched and retains the genetic characteristics of the earlier breeds. The Auto Pony is another indigenous southern African horse from the Soho kingdom of Lesotho.

Afrikaner's history is full of praise for the horse, especially its role during the Great Trek. He saved the lives of 14 sailors by telling them to hold the tail of his horse Fleur, when the ship DE Jorge Thomas ran aground in Cape Town, on 1 June 1773.

Today, the horse is held in high esteem especially by the Afrikaner farming community. In the past, before the 1994 elections, the horse was a seen as a symbol of Afrikaner power, prestige and nationalism.

Events such as the Durban July and Job Met draw massive crowds from both local and overseas punters. Africa has three such places, all vastly different, that allow people to visit and witness one of the most beautiful sights in existence.

horse africa south horses know fin24 r1 million sold there
(Source: businesstech.co.za)

What is important is the pure sense of wonder seeing these feral creatures creates deep in one’s soul. The feral horses of Garb have adapted to the desert environment that offers searing temperatures and little food.

Today, you can catch a glimpse of these horses from a protected perch that looks out over the watering hole. This area was first settled during the gold rush in 1873 but today the village of Kaapsehoop is occupied by many artists who have set up shop.

Experiencing one adventure into this area will have you understanding why the freedom-loving souls have always found it a place to call home. The wetlands that house the Rewinds Nature Preserve also give refuge to a small herd of wild horses that have a mysterious origin, These horses are the most difficult to get a glimpse of as the herd is small and their history with humans has left them staying clear of the two-legged species.

It is thought the horses an originated when the British soldiers left the area over a hundred years ago. The herd eventually grew to be over 200 strong but local farmers hunted them down and killed most of them.

It is told that only three of these original horses managed to escape, and they are the ancestors of those who now thrive in the wetland area. Taking the time to explore the areas where wild horses still run free will be an experience you will never forget.

africa horses wild south barry deborah hall photograph 5th uploaded june which
(Source: fineartamerica.com)

If you keep in mind these animals are feral and should not be fed or approached closely, you will be able to observe them as they go about their day. When he moves on from this world, he does not want to leave his grandchildren a planet without lions, rhinos and elephants.

I’ve said on several previous occasions that domestic animals are far from outside the Tet Zoo remit. On the contrary, I find them to be of great interest, and I think that their diversity, evolution and behavior is something that we should pay attention to more often.

The article you’re reading now is a weird spin off of the Tetra pod Zoology podcast (known in-universe as the TetZoopodcats) and relates specifically to a question we were asked by Tet Zoo regular Richard Hing. I should say to begin with that it’s becoming ever-easier for me to write about domestic horse breeds and their history because I now own quite a few books devoted to these subjects.

While there ’s a very obvious European (and British) bias to these books, the good news is that at least some of them do discuss the breeds from places like sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of African horse breeds are derivatives of a domestication event that was centered in Asia Minor and the Mediterranean fringes.

I will say that horses were seemingly domesticated several times, from wild populations that almost certainly differed in proportions and other characteristics. They have proportionally long ears and a bulging forehead region that apparently reflects the presence of large frontal sinuses (Bennett 2008).

africa south horse boerperd farm sa fruit
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This is a long-headed, long-legged horse with flat shoulders, a low-set tail and sloping hindquarters, and it can be virtually any shade of brown, black or gray. They’ve repeatedly been crossed with Arab horses, so much so that a large pool of hybrids now exists, and several Barb strains have been bred.

A form with a Roman-nosed appearance is associated with Tripoli, and smaller-bodied versions have been bred in mountainous parts of Algeria and Morocco. One hybrid population, mostly associated with Libya, has a distinctive-enough look that it’s treated as a distinct breed, the Libyan barb or North African horse.

From here, they were taken to South America where breeds like the Argentine Criollo, Puerto Rican Pass Fine and Machado are apparently derived from them. I should also note briefly that Barbs may have originated in Spain in the first place, an idea which is consistent with archaeological and genetic data suggesting that the Iberian Peninsula was both a Pleistocene refuge for wild horses, and a domestication center for animals that were later taken around the Mediterranean fringes and across northern Africa (Jansen et al.

Animals I’ve seen in photos have a gently bulging forehead and slightly concave dorsal face profile like that seen in North African Barbs. Many comments made about the Angola have a negative connotation: it’s described as having thin legs, a proportionally big, dorsally convex and unattractive head, a flat croup (= rump), and a long back.

They include the Fulani, the Bahr-el-Ghazal of Chad, the Hausa and Born of Nigeria, and the Niagara, Dermal, Moss, Songhai and Height of the great ‘bend region’ of the Niger River (Hendricks 2007). Fulani horses are small and hardy, they’re highly variable, and they have features indicative of an Afro-Turkic/Oriental ancestry.

breeds horse native basuto pony south africa
(Source: www.nativebreed.org)

Pictures show a long, narrow face, slender proportions overall and a function as both a pack and saddle horse. Again, it paints a picture of substantial movement of horse breeds, and a long and complex history of hybridization and retrogression (Paisley et al.

In fact, it’s obvious that “he importance of ponies in West Africa has been seriously underestimated because the process of replacement by the larger and more prestigious horses brought across the desert was already advanced during the period when the first observers were writing” (Blench 1993, p. 103). Several groups of people in what is now Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and elsewhere in western and Central Africa are recorded as using and breeding horses, and of using them extensively in battle.

In Chad, the powerful Aguirre Kingdom used mounted cavalry, equipped with quilted armor worn over leather and chain mail, during the 18th century at least, and armored horses were in fact used extensively across central and eastern Sudan Africa. Plateau State in Nigeria was inhabited by people with a rich and interesting horse-based culture.

Horses were ridden in war, and were used as bride wealth payments, in ceremony, and as indications of wealth. The Pit people of Nigeria also used their small hill ponies when hunting game.

Sadly, all of these animals seem to have declined substantially in recent decades with a 1990 survey finding only three in use among one of the relevant ethnic groups (Blench 1993). A remarkable tradition apparently used by people across the region concerns the deliberate cutting of the horse’s back such that it bled, the clotting blood then being used as an adhesive to help the (bareback) rider stay in place.

horse breeds boerperd south africa kaapse native
(Source: www.nativebreed.org)

Blench (1993) quoted UMM (1910) on this, and noted that it seemed so bizarre (and cruel) that it would ordinarily be worthy of dismissal as a traveler’s tale. Some authors provided extra information, saying that the skin was opened on the back such that a swollen pad (and eventually a giant roughened area of scar tissue) formed and functioned as a sort of built-in saddle.

A Berm man (the Berm or Biro are indigenous to the Jo's Plateau in Nigeria) was quoted as saying “A horse is like a man; you send it out to bring a tired man home, you give it water to drink, you walk miles to find it grass to eat, it carries you to hunt and to war, when it is tired you dismount and carry your load on your own head. When you die, and they lead it towards your grave, its spirit may fly out of its body in its anxiety to find you” (Musical 1982, p. 23-24).

Ponies kept by the Berm were killed when their owner died and the corpse was then wrapped in the skin (Davies, in Blench 1993). Axes, spears, saddles and bits and reins were used by these people as they rode, and Master apparently featured a remarkable image where Gamer warriors, crossing the Logon River in canoes, are leading their swimming horses behind them (Blench 1993).

Master also referred to the sight of 3000-4000 Gamer warriors, about one-third of which were mounted, so they apparently owned a great many horses. It’s apparently has exceptionally hard hooves, relatively short legs and a longish back (Goodall 1963).

These features are all related to its sure-footedness on rough, rocky terrain, and it’s this characteristic which had made the Auto a popular and reliable horse used extensively during the Boer War. The Auto seems to have originated as a cross between Arab, Persian and Thoroughbred horses during the middle of the 17th century and to have been brought to Southern Africa by Dutch and Portuguese people.

horse africa african nomads horses stallion power nomad chad geographic saddle rangers barb berber zakouma saving wildlife horseback chadian ranger
(Source: www.horsenation.com)

The origins and history of miniature horses is confusing, in part because people have crossed small individuals of many breeds to create small-stature animals. In cases, they have therefore created hybrids that exhibit features of several larger horse breeds.

They probably descend from horses imported to the region for military purposes and don’t have (contra some ideas on their origins) any direct links to Auto ponies used by endemic people. I don’t know anywhere near as much as I might like, but the few sources I’ve consulted show that western, central and Southern Africa at least have a rich and diverse history of equestrianism.

Horses have also been used extensively in war, in ceremonial fashion or as working or riding animals in many African countries even well south of the Sahara. Ethnographic and linguistic evidence for the prehistory of African ruminant livestock, horses and ponies.

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horses south army starved military nspca african found africa lay neglected sa sapeople charges emaciated meant patrol borders starvation suffering
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A decrease in equine population followed mechanization of farming, but a recent swell of interest in sport horses has brought the number back to around 300,000. Other equine diseases in South Africa include do urine, toxoplasmosis, rhinopneumonitis, mange, rabies, anthrax, and West Nile fever.

The South African Clamped comes from the Western Cape Region of South Africa and their name translates to “Flemish Horse” referring to their strong initial Frisian influence. Each country generally develops their bloodlines based on local climate conditions and their intended goals.

Miniature horses (the man made kind anyway) come from the Renaissance in Europe. Over generations this was successful and a number of different miniature horse bloodless were created.

Miniature horses (the man made kind anyway) come from the Renaissance in Europe. Over generations this was successful and a number of different miniature horse bloodless were created.

Unfortunately as kingdoms in Europe began their decline these breeding programs were quickly cut and the animals sold off. Luckily enthusiasts around the planet managed to get their hands on one or two and small populations grew from them.

horses south africa sunset preview
(Source: www.dreamstime.com)

The South African Miniature Horses were developed in the countryside by several individuals using a variety of foundation breeds. The SA Miniature Horse Breeders’ Society was founded in 1984 and by 1989 a stud book was developed and the breed was officially recognized.

Also called the Bantam Horse the Calvin is incredibly rare, if any purebred animals exist at all. In South Africa, for example, the contribution by owners supported 25% of the sport in the 2009 financial year.

This is the punter who studies form, who looks at the horses and places a careful wager. Yet, arguably it also attracts punters who do not study form and are simply guessing.

There are fewer people prepared to subsidize the sport as owners; there are considerably fewer breeders; fewer jockeys and, as a result, fewer horses. In recent times the onset of the Great Recession has also been a major contributor to the decline in betting.

In Australia, for instance, the 2009 Melbourne Cup attracted six international entrants and international horses regularly compete in and win the Melbourne Cup. This raises the profile of Australian horse racing both within the country and internationally.

horse boerperd south breeds native africa breed indigenous horses origin globetrotting
(Source: www.nativebreed.org)

South Africa faces major constraints on the international front because of African horse sickness. The result is that South African horses rarely compete overseas, international horses are rarely brought to South Africa and there is a limited trade in breeding.

AHS has limited the economic potential of South African horse racing not least because it constrains horses from competing and being sold overseas which therefore lowers their potential sales price. This is done with a view to being able to make strategic and informed decisions about the future of horse racing.

Economics Information Services, a specialist consultancy in the tourism and gambling industries was appointed to start this investigation. It outlines the profile of horse racing and the economic contribution that it makes to the country.

(The scope of the study is restricted only to the racing segment of sport of horse riding. The economic contribution reported in this document would be considerably larger if these other aspects of the sport had been included).

The second phase will provide a framework in which horse racing can make strategic decisions about the future of horse racing and monitor the impact of those decisions. The objective of the second phase would be to develop an econometric and analytical model that can be used for the strategic analysis of horse racing.

south africa horse boerperd african breeds horses riding types english different dream books american
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O The upkeep and running of racecourses and training facilities contributed R372m to GDP; The distribution of these jobs across the various parts of horse racing is shown in Table ES2.

The estimate for the number of employees on stud farms is based on a census commissioned by Racing SA of all aspects of the sport. Gold Circle had 781 full-time and 1 447 part-time employees which amounted to an estimated 1 671 full-time equivalent jobs.

These included 82 full-time and 124 part-time people working for the NHA; 32 with Racing South Africa including the Equine Research Center, the Kenilworth quarantine station, the African Horse Sickness Trust and the Equine Trade Council, 47 with the SA Jockey Academy, 7 with the Racing Association (owners body for Phumelela) and 14 with the SA Racing and Equestrian Academy (including the Grooms School Trust). In 2009 South Africa ’s two bloodstock auctioneers and agents employed 43 on a full-time equivalent basis of which 36 were employed by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association and its marketing arm Bloodstock SA and 7 by Equilar Equestrian Sales.

The turf directory lists 22 racing editors around the country which is therefore a minimum number for print media employment. Including a total of 15 equine photographers also listed in the SA Turf Directory gives an estimate of the total number of media employment attributable to racing to 37.

The final component in South African horse racing is the various support services. For example, in 2009 the South African casino industry employed 0.289 people for each million rand of gross gaming revenue.

desteni africa south farm through horses horsemanship natural rehabilitated
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South African horse racing employed 7.01 full time equivalent people for each million rand of gross gaming revenue. As a result the operators also take credit for the labor intensity of governance at 9.83 jobs per R1m expended; racecourse and training facilities at 6.88 and jockey remuneration at 6.30.

Five years later, in 1802 the first club race took place on what is now Green Point Common . Since that time the sport has developed largely through a process of evolution not one of structural design.

First is the evolution from a plethora of racing clubs into the two existing operators, Phumelela and Gold Circle. Phumelela was created through the corporatization of the racing clubs of Gluten in 1998, and subsequently joined by the racing clubs of the Northern Cape, Free State and Eastern Cape.

Gold Circle is similar to Phumelela in that it is the result of the amalgamation of several racing clubs and organizations in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. This joint venture is managed by Phumelela and owns the local and international broadcasting rights to South African horse racing.

Objectives are different as are philosophies and processes making this a relationship that deserves further investigation. There are many bookmakers who in 2009 took 46% of all gross gaming revenues in horse racing.

africa south horses jumping horse sporthorses jumper
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The operators return 42.4% of gross gaming revenues to horse racing. Via punters’ contribution to winning bets struck with bookmakers, they return just 18.1% to horse racing.

If bookmakers faced the same rules as the operators then a further R100m would have been returned to horse racing in that year. The first phase of the investigation has found that there is some evidence to suggest that the less that prize money covers that cost of owning a race horse the smaller the industry.

This will be analyzed more carefully at an individual country level in phase 2 of the investigation. The final constraint resulting from the evolution of the sport is the existence of a challenging regulatory environment.

Over time, and prior to the liberalization of gambling in 1996, the control of horse racing was placed under the then four provincial authorities. This increases the costs of horse racing and results in economic inefficiencies.

There are requirements to stage a minimum number of races each year and to retain a telephone betting Call Center. High operating costs mean that less funding can be challenged back into horse racing with the obvious implications for jobs, incomes and the future of the sport.

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In addition to these bookmakers and the lottery face a different regulatory environment which puts the racing operators at a disadvantage. The experience of operators’ is that decisions on these new products can be a long time in the making.

This executive summary concludes by giving a brief description of the structure and size of horse racing before outlining some changes that have occurred over the last decade. The regulatory body of horse racing is the National Horse racing Authority of South Africa (NHA).

The most important of these is prize money (stakes) from their horse winning or being placed in a race. They are also paid when a horse is sold or, very occasionally, from international prize money.

In turn owners pay breeders either directly (of which there are no records) or through the auction houses. The auction houses are Bloodstock South Africa and Equilar Equestrian Sales.

On occasion owners also cede a portion of their stakes to the jockey who rode a winning or placed horse. The final important components of the breeding and training side of horse racing are the Thoroughbred Horse racing Trust, the owners and trainers bodies and the Onderstepoort Equine Research Center.

horses sunset africa south
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There are several interrelated agencies involved on the wagering side of the horse racing industry. The TAB is a partnership between Phumelela and Gold Circle who combine all totalizator bets into one national pool.

They generally offer fixed odds betting to punters, pay taxes and a 3% levy to the TAB. Some bookmakers have been offering variable odds based on the TAB payout.

Wagering contributed 75% to the operation of the horse racing industry in that year. The first of the important outflows is the remittance of profit to the owners of the independent bookmaking operations.

These independent bookmakers are required to pay a 3% levy on winning bets to the TAB. Operating costs which include all running expenses like wages and salaries, the payment for Telly track, and the actual staging of the races.

O the Kenilworth Quarantine Station which is necessary for South Africa to be part of the international trade in horses ; Phumelela and Gold Circle also make a significant contribution to many other parts of horse racing.

south horses african army neglected africa wild
(Source: animalpeopleforum.org)

This is an anachronism that is a throwback to when the Natal racing club paid such a premium and its continuation was negotiated as part of the structure of Gold Circle. Partially as a result of these financial trends, South African horse racing is largely in the doldrums.

In conclusion, it is realized that in many parts of the world, South Africa included, horse racing has been facing competition from a wide and growing variety of other forms of entertainment and wagering. The consequence of this is that there are fewer industry participants and less interest from younger members of society.

By Economic Information Services, Antony Voting, Brian Swing March 2011 This does not mean that the number of stud farms decreased although it was not possible to source information about this aspect of horse racing.

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