A centre for the rescue and rehabilitation of horses needs the public’s help in raising much-needed funds to tend to the horses in their care.
Opened by the Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) in 2008, The Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre, based in Firlands, Gordon’s Bay, is a safe place where horses rescued from often dire or abusive conditions, can recover, recuperate, and start their healing journey before being re-homed.
Horses have either been confiscated from unfavourable circumstances, ranging from unsuitable working conditions, abuse, or inadequate housing, while others have been signed over voluntary by owners who couldn’t care for them or when working horses retired.
“Others were confiscated because their stables were not up to the standard that we like to see the horses live in, the stables were either dirty, or the horses were too thin and not in acceptable condition,” says Marike Kotzè, spokesperson for the CHA.
“Having the R&R gives us the option of confiscating horses either permanently or temporarily, depending on the specific circumstances and give these horses a safe place to stay,” says Ms Kotzè.
As a non-profit, she says the association relies entirely on public or foundational donations and the needs in caring for the horses at the recovery centre are costly. For this purpose, the association will be hosting a marathon online fundraiser on Tuesday November 30, the worldly renowned, #Giving Tuesday, by means of an 8-hour livestream.
The target is to raise R300 000, to cover the costs of care for the current 33 horses stabled, their new level of care often in stark contrast to their former circumstances.
The centre’s care programme varies and is adapted to suit each horse. “Some horses can be ridden, while others are only adoptable as companions to other horses. They are usually given adequate rest and a balanced diet.
“Once their condition is such that they can be worked, they will be handled and worked with – ready for a new life,” Ms Kotzè further explains.
Perfect Timing is a horse who have come through the programme. Born in 2011 and registered as a working horse, Perfect Timing has had an unfortunate start in life, but due to the centre’s work, he’s story now has a happy ending, far removed from his life as an abused pony sold to a family notorious with the CHA for their mistreatment of horses.
The association managed to rescue him in June last year after persisting through a 2-year battle after the owner managed to through evasion tactics escape the rescue efforts of the CHA.
He is thriving at the centre after a challenging road to recovery, but all thanks to the selfless staff at the centre, consisting of 5 grooms, led by adoptions and stable yard coordinator, Carmen Berry, he now has a new lease on life.
His story is one of many narrating the tale of successful rescues and although the centre is not a permanent home for these horses, they do remain there until they ready to be re-homed.
Perfect Timing’s life now signifies a hopeful future, possibly one with a new loving home. “This is only a recovery and rehabilitation centre and not a sanctuary, so the horses enter an adoption programme from where they are rehomed,” Ms Kotzè explains the horses’ reality after the desired progress has been achieved.
Except for monetary donations, the public can assist the centre in other ways. Currently there is a great need for instant lawn to green the paddocks and volunteers are always welcome to lend a hand. Those interested in volunteering can contact Carmen on 082 612 6966 to make an appointment.
The livestream fundraiser will give the public a real-life view and experience of life at the centre and share heartwarming stories of horses in their care.
Visit the CHA Facebook Page and YouTube channel on Tuesday November 30, to join this fundraising experience. Additionally, options to donate before the event are available at, www.carthorse.org.za/donate/