SA Boerperd Breed History

Article by Chris Nel


1] Breed History - How It All Started

The origin of the SA Boerperd can be divided into 3 phases:


The SA Boerperd is a true South African horse breed, with a long and illustrious history intimately interwoven with that of civilization in South Africa. Its lineage can be traced back to shortly after the landing of Jan van Riebeeck in Table Bay in 1652, and the establishment of a halfway post to serve ships of the Dutch East Indian Company.The first phase of its history covers the period from van Riebeeck to the Great Trek northwards into the interior of the subcontinent in 1836. The first horses imported into the fledgling Cape colony were cross Berber-Arabian ponies imported from Java. Although breeding was initially slow, by 1665 sufficient numbers were available to sell to the free burghers. Inbreeding was countered by the fortuitous stranding of a ship en route from Java to Persia, even before the castle had been completed. This ship carried 14 Arabian horses recalled by him due to unrest in the land, among the best in Shah of Persia’s stud. These horses swam ashore and were caught by Van Riebeeck’s men.Augmented by the infusion of a number of Andalusian and Isabella horses en route to South America, more than a century later, these Persian Arabs, and the original horses from Java, formed the basis of what eventually developed into a recognized breed, known at the time as the CapeHorse. It was to become well-known for its sound temperament, bravery, intelligence, endurance, extreme sure-footedness and hardiness.In the 150 years between Simon van der Stel and Lord Charles Somerset, limited new genes entered the gene pool. However, Somerset did stimulate horse breeding by importing 40 thoroughbred stallions. Their influence could not have been great, as the horse population in the Cape was around 225000 at the time, but could have had an effect on size and posture. Horse-breeding had developed into a thriving industry, even leading to the exporting of war horses especially to the English army in India around 1769.Nature also played a crucial role in shaping the breed. In 1719, and again in 1763, many thousands of horses died from the dreaded African Horse Sickness. On the positive side, it can be seen as a process that removed animals susceptible to this disease from the population and prevented their genes from being propagated – a natural selection process for an adapted type of horse.


The second phase covered the period 1836 to 1899, from the Great trek to the start of the second Anglo-Boer War. The phenotype and genotype were fixed during this period as other breeds, such as the Flemish Stallions from the Netherlands, as well as Hackeys, Norfolk Trotters and Cleveland Bays, were imported and bred into what eventually become known as the Boerperd.


The third phase covers the period after the Second Anglo Boer War.
The stamina, hardiness and mobility of the Boerperd had been tested and refined during the war years. The Boers were skilled riders, and it was, to a large extent, these tough, agile horses that allowed them to prevail against the overwhelming might of the British army for as long as they did. However, the breed paid a high price for its role in the war, as thousands of horses were lost due to the harsh conditions to which they were subjected. Many not killed on battle were subsequently shot by the British on the farms in an attempt to deny the Boers their advantage. By the end of the conflict, only the hardiest and those deliberately hidden away by their owners in remote areas beyond the reach of the British, remained. After the war, a formal movement to conserve the Boerperd started. An Auxiliary Register was included in the Stud Book Register of the breeders Association of Transvaal in 1905. Unfortunately this register was poorly supported and eventually became redundant between 1918 and 1921.A National Riding Horse Breeders Association was established and in 1957 this was changed to the Boerperd Breeders Association of SA. This step, however, also led to the simultaneous formation of the Eggo Boerperd Breeders Association. In 1973 the Boerperd Society of SA was established in the town of Memel in the Orange Free State. A constitution was written, and a breed standard was compiled. Horses genotypically and phenotypically suitable for breeding were identified, and a very strict selection policy was adopted. In 1977 the name was changed to the Historic Boerperd Breeders Society and in 1980 the breed was officially recognised by the Department of Agriculture, and subsequently affiliated to the South African Stud Book and Livestock Improvement Association. In 1996 the Historic Boerperd was accorded the status of a fully recognised and indigenous breed by the Registrar of Livestock Improvement. In 1998 the name was changed to SA Boerperd, and it is today one of the truly South African horse breeds.
2] The Anglo-Boer War Heritage
With its centennial completed in 1999 – 2003, the legacy of the Second Anglo-Boer War was again fresh in the minds of the South African and British horse fraternities. It revived the memory of the tough and hardy horses of the Boer commandos which, with superior constitution, intelligence and temperament, ran circles around and kicked dust into the faces of the finest war-horses the Empire could muster. It has also helped create time and opportunity for the SA Boerperd, a century hence. South Africa is a land of wide open spaces and far horizons, from the sandveld of the Kalahari to the plains of the Camdeboo – from the grasslands of the Highveld and high mountains of the Eastern Cape, Natal and Free State to the bushveld savannas of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga. A veritable living laboratory in which to breed and rear horses as they should be bred and reared, in family groups on natural veldt grazing, and where natural selection monitored and managed by Man, can continue unhampered. South Africa’s horse industry has many strong points. Firstly, there is the outstanding and proven genetic material of the SA Boerperd and other breeds, and an equine tradition and eye for fine horse flesh second to none. Then there are the First World standard breeding societies, recording systems and authorities, as well as the sophisticated ART technology, research institutions and veterinary services. This has been as a result of and its contribution to a bloom period in the South African equine industry as never before, since the advent of the internal combustion engine. In addition to the growing competitive sports riding sector, horses are increasingly used for patrol and police work, for herding, for trailing, for hunting and recreational riding. The sport of endurance riding has a long and distinguished legacy in South Africa, at times over terrain and under weather conditions unbelievable to overseas competitors.
3] The Blood Lines
1] The Cloete Horses:
[By Mr. Jan v.d. Wath]
The Cloete family’s ancestor, Jacob Cloete, was one of the first Free Burgers to settle in the Cape in 1652. He received some of the horses that Governor Jan van Riebeeck made available to the settlers. Progeny of these horses became known as the Cape Horse until the Anglo-Boer War. With the settlers’ excursion into the interior, these horses were selected for hardiness, intelligence and temperament with the help of Mother Nature and the vigilant eye of the farmers. The Cloete family was horse breeders proud of the achievements and performance records of the horses they bred. For this reason it was important to keep their studs pure and to ensure that the horses’ unique characteristics must be retained. Mr. J. A. N. Cloete owned a large herd of these horses. During the Anglo-Boer War of 1899 – 1902 all the usable horses from this herd were confiscated by the British. The rest were shot on the farm Doornhoek. Two fillies however escaped over the holding pen wall and fled into the thorny veldt. One of them was named Ou Bes. She belonged to Mrs. M. M. Cloete, the wife of J. A. N. Cloete. Ou Bes had a tremendous impact on the development of the Eggo-horses as well as the SA Boerperd of today. After the war the two mares were found and bred to a stallion called Punch. He was owned by J. J. Cloete and was used for a while to breed with for a rental fee. Punch was a crossbred between an Arabian stallion and a Basutu mare. The Basutu mare came from Basutuland and according to the owners she was an exceptional horse. Punch was described as a 14hh, dark dapple grey stallion, with very good conformation. He could do all 5 gaites correctly and without effort as well as having had an easy free trot in harness. The description of his conformation is unquestionably similar to the present SA Boerperd as described in the” SA Boerperd Breed Standard Manual.” A Stallion called Vonk was bred out of Punch and Ou Bes and Mr. J.A.N. Cloete used him in his stud until 1935. With the passing of J. A. N. Cloete, his son, W. J. Cloete (Oom Willem) of the farm Excelsior in the Molteno district, continued with the horse breeding. The Eggo Stud of Oom Willem was and still is well known. From 1934 to 1955, Oom Willem bred with the stallion, Eggo I. Eggo I was bred out of the stallion Fort (Vonk x Ou Bes) and the mare Bouwer Bessie. (Her mother, Lady, came from a farm in the Swellendam district that belonged to Cloete Free burgers.) This mare was a dark liver chestnut pony of 14.2hh, finely boned with high quality. Mr. Bouwer who bred Bessie, used her as a riding horse for 18 years. She was blessed with exceptional intelligence, spirit and stamina. Her strong and hard upright hooves were never shod. Eggo 1 was responsible for the change in characteristics of the Cloete horses from the Vonk type (broad heavy necks and light hindquarters) to the more athletic and balanced Eggo type. Eggo I was a much debated and discussed horse. Oom Willem Cloete was apparently instructed by his farther to geld the “rubbish” or to leave the farm with him. Apparently, because he was bred out of Bouwer Bessie. Oom Willem did not adhere to this demand and left the farm with Eggo I to go and sink boreholes. However, his farther allowed him back on the farm on one condition that he had to, for a certain predetermined period, do a daily inspection of the herds of cattle on several farms, with Eggo I. During a jackal hunt, on the farm Vrolikskraal in 1939, Oom Willem on Eggo 1 was challenged by his companions to chase a Mountain Reedbock ram that was already 100m ahead of them. Within 400m he caught up with the ram. When the ram jumped, Oom Willem grasped it by the horns, pulled it over the saddle and released it. After the demise of Eggo I, one of his sons, Bismark I, took his place (1956 – 1969). The following studs used Bismark 1’s colts for breeding:
* Job : Calela Stud (Jacobsz Partners)
* Bismark II : Ammarel Stud (Kootjie Conradie)
* Bismark II : Sweeplag Stud (Chris Coetzee)
* Bismark II : Lang Carel Stud (Jan van der Wath)
* Robyn : Lang Carel Stud (Jan van der Wath)
* President : Klipfontein Stud (K. P. Steenkamp)
* President : Lang Carel Stud (Jan van der Wath)
* Markus : Suiwer Stud (O. T. van Niekerk)
Tempel and Klinker were also used to a lesser extend. Klinker only sired six foals, amongst who was Jas (sire of Lang Carel Basta) that played an important role and had a huge impact on the Lang Carel Stud. As from 1970 and up to the passing of Oom Willem in 1982, stallions like Bismark 11 were used extensively in his stud. Both Eggo II (son of Eggo I) and Afheup (son of Klinker) were only used for one season. Fort II (Eggo II x Ou Kol) and Glips (Afheup x Wille Vos) were also used for breeding up to Oom Willem’s passing. During the 1970 drought Oom Willem moved his horses from Molteno to the farm Welgelegen in the Ermelo district which belonged to the van der Wath’s. These horses were in a very bad condition and some of them died on the train during the trip. Only 12 mares survived. This small group, in the end had a profound and lasting influence on the current SA Boerperd population. Oom Willem Cloete was one of the founder members of the Boerperd Breeders Society of SA in 1973. He served this noble cause with enthusiasm and full commitment until his passing. Descendants of his horses are living monuments in service to the SA Boerperd studs to breed with and to enjoy. His son, Deon Cloete of Molteno, still owns and breeds with direct descendants of these horses and is a member of the SA Boerperd Breeders Society. We pay homage to the Cloete Family whom not only left us with the legacy of this noble horse but also the insight to carry on breeding.
2] The A2 Horses:
[By Mr. Lomon Terreblanche]
The early history of the A2 or van Niekerk horses is the same as the rest of the SA Boerperd bloodlines. From testimonies, stories and farm records it seems clear that Oupa Jaap van Niekerk of the farm Kaalpoort, district Utrecht in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, already owned an established horse stud during the 1870’s. These horses were then already well known and it was here that the foundations were laid. During 1879 a farmer from the Cape Colony who farmed in the Ermelo district decided to trek back to the Cape with his sheep and horses. He stayed overnight at Kaalpoort. One of his colts was to weak to carry on with the trek and after long discussions and reasoning Oupa Jaap bought the dark bay colt for £20. (A pretty penny). This is how the colt David, became the first well-known ancestor of the van Niekerk horses. The origin of the A2 Stud name came from Oupa Jaap’s son, A. P .D. (Albert) van Niekerk of the farm Rietvlei in the Wakkerstroom district. His brand was A2. He was also the inheritor of Oupa Jaap’s horses. These horses thrived under the watchful eye of Oom Albert and became sought after and respected. He followed a policy of line breeding and only used his best colts. As a result he created a strong prepotency for the A2 horses. According to Mr. Piet van der Merwe of Honymoon, Wakkerstroom his breed policy was as follows:
1. To breed a horse with unsurpassed stamina that could do all 5 gaites with refinement and with ease. It must have been able to do its work on the farm from dusk to dawn and through thick and thin.
2. It must have been able to be put in harness to take his family to town for shopping and to church on Sundays.
3. He also had to breed a horse unsurpassable, for the purpose of courting. The horse had to impress an eligible maiden and her family with presence and pride to help the bachelors find wives. It had to have had enough stamina to last 10 hours a day under saddle.
4. He strove to breed show horses with excellent temperaments, tame but with spirit. They must have had high knee action, pride and should never be ridden with spurs or whips.
From the basis of Oom Albert van Niekerk’s stud, 2 other studs had their origin. Dwarspruit Stud of a brother as well as Dageraad Stud, another brother, Oom Jaap van Niekerk. Piet Smuts from Wakkerstroom, a son-in-law, inherited Oom Albert’s horses in 1949. Oom Albert van Niekerk had one daugther and she recalled that during the Anglo-Boer War the British confiscated a large portion of the stud, from the farm Dwarsbalk. Oom Albert saved a few through hiding them in the mountains. One of the saved mares, Malie, bred outstanding show horses by a stallion, Fairplay. Mr. J. F. Kemp and Mr. (Jannie) J. A. Kemp of the later Janri Stud from the midlands of Kwa-Natal recalled the role the A2 horses played during the Anglo-Boer War: “We as a family have very high regard for the A2 horses of Wakkerstroom. My great grand father, Hendrik Daniël Sassenberg, a Field Marshall in Wakkerstroom at the time, was riding one of these horses called Welkom during the battle of Talowa near Dundee. He was one of the unlucky ones who fell in battle.” From the fruitful and happy tie between Oom Albert and Oom Jaap van Niekerd as well as Aunt Matty of the Dageraad stud the Kemp’s breeding developed. True to Oom Jaap van Niekerk’s ancestor’s tradition these horses were kept pure through using only stallions selected from there own breeding. Because of ill health Oom Jaap and Aunt Matty were forced to abandon their breeding and these horses were dispersed of during the 1970’s. If it were not for the interest Mr. William Bondesio showed towards the A2 bloodline very few would have remained. Mr. Jan van der Wath of the Lang Carel Stud encouraged Mr. William Bondesio and so the long and arduous task to find these horses started. With valuable assistance from Mr. Frikkie van der Merwe, Mr. Boetie Meyer, Mr. Gertman van Rensburg and others he managed to save outstanding breeding material, which he utilised in his Lekkerkry Stud where they thrived. It is important for us to know that some of the original A2 horses have remained in present day SA Boerperd Studs such as :
* The Lekkerkry Stud of Mr. William Bondesio,
* Pivaanswaterval Stud of Hubert Lens,
* Pandan Stud of Lewis and Sonja Smuts.
* During the early 1990’s William Bondesio left South Africa for Paraguay. The nucleus of his Lekkerkry Stud remained with Magiel Burger of the Burgerstrots and A2 Studs,
* Lomon Terreblanche of the Roemryk Stud.
* Seun and Elmarie Davel of the Mooihoek Stud.
The modern day A2 horses excel in showing, pleasure rides and other equestrian sport in the same way its ancestors did and they are making their presence felt. Thank you to our ancestors who left us with such a historic and valuable bloodline so that we can utilise and enjoy them in the gene pool of the SA Boerperd.
3] The Hancke Horses:
[By Mr. Manie Hancke]
The Hancke horses’ history can be traced back to the years just after the Great Trek in 1836. My great grand father, Carel Hancke, as well as my grandfather, Hendrik Hancke, were devoted and knowledgeable horse lovers as well as breeders. The Hancke horses were well known throughout the then Transvaal and in other parts of the country. The majority of these horses were grey. They were well sought after by big game hunters because of their outstanding stamina and endurance. One of these horses was called Grysbok, a roan. A big game hunter recalled that they first ran an Eland to ground before they shot it. The Anglo-Boer War proved the Hancke horses’ hardiness, endurance and mobility. During the war, my grandfather, Hendrik Hancke was a dispatch rider for General Botha. During the time that Paul Kruger was overseas my grandfather was dispatched to the interim government with the request that they must be placed in the care of General Botha. According to the book about the Generals of the Anglo-Boer War (De Wet, de la Rey, General Botha and others) mention was made of my great grand father, Carel Hancke, as one of the largest horse breeders, supplying Boers during the war. He bred with 700 mares but many of them died and many were confiscated by the British. After the Anglo-Boer War a few horses were retrieved that had the H-brand on the hindquarters and the breeding of these horses continued. In most cases stallions selected from this herd were used. Individual stallions were purchased and the first one was called Don, a grey. My grandfather bought him from Mr. Campher. He sired exceptional foals. In 1912, at the first show after the Anglo Boer War, my grandfather received the trophy for the best pair of horses in harness as well as a medal for a roan mare, Vrystaat. The trophy and the medal are still prize possessions of our family. Another stallion was purchased from George Louw of the farm Eensaamheid in the Colesburg district. The horses of George Louw were an isolated herd for 70 years and were known as the Hantam horses. However, the stallions that had the greatest impact on the Hancke horses came from their own breeding nucleus such as King, Sam, Rooster, Soldaat, Bangkok Sierraad, Geepad, Sweep, Wegvat, Rebel, Tom en Klip. The tradition of breeding and excellence in performance of the Hancke horses is being continued today. Several Championships in breed- and ridden classes are testimony to the above of which some of the most important are:
1987 : Interbreed Champion : Carel Hancke Geepad – Pretoria International Show
1991 : Interbreed Champion : Carel Hancke Geepad – Pretoria International Show
1995 : Transvaal Dressage Champion : Carel Hancke Soldaat
1997 : Interbreed Champion : Carel Hancke Soldaat – Pretoria International Show
Presently the Hancke horses are still renowned for their movement, hardiness, endurance and excellent temperaments. The mares and foals are still grazing on the grassy hills and marshes of the farm Sierfontein in the Bethal district of Mpumalanga’s eastern highveld.
4] The Steenkamp Horses:
[By Mr. Jan v.d. Wath]
According to oom Karel Piet Steenkamp this bloodline dates back to 1847. Willem Steenkamp, with the nickname Voortrekker had three sons. Willem, Lang Carel Steenkamp’s father, Carel Gert, Karel Piet Steenkamp’s grandfather and H. N. F. Steenkamp, Theuns Steenkamp’s grandfather. They moved with their horses from Calvinia in the Cape Colony to Witkoppe close to Harrismith (Free State) and later to Orighstad in the Eastern Transvaal. Many horses died of African Horse sickness in the Eastern Transvaal and therefore they decided to move the remaining few to the Steenkamp Mountains and settled on the farm Houtenbek in the Lydenburg district, in approximately 1864. From there they moved to the farm Welgelegen in the Ermelo district. Willem Steenkamp moved into the old farmstead of Welgelegen and Karel Gert to Klipfontein. The 2 Steenkamp brothers of Ermelo owned a combined stud. Karel Piet lived there in later years. H. N. F. Steenkamp trekked to Natal and settled on the farm Holkrans in the Skurweberge, district Utrecht. The eldest son of Willem Steenkamp, Theuns G. N. Steenkamp, was born on the farm Holkrans in 1886. He again managed to obtain some horses from the Cape Colony. These horses thrived on the plato on top of the Skurweberge due to it being free of African Horse sickness, and they bred prolifically. Some of these horses were brought down from the mountain during wheat harvesting. They had to thresh the wheat on a threshing-floor especially handmade out of anthill soil. During the years prior to the Boer Wars, Arab and Thoroughbred stallions were used for breeding. Stories were told of the nimble and sturdy Steenkamp horses’ achievements in the Kommando’s during the Boer wars. The endurance and loveable nature of the Boerperd was also the reason why they were used to inspect farm borders where the going was sometimes too tough to do it on foot. The Zulu King donated ground to the farmers after they helped him to retrieve his stolen cattle. During the Rebellion of 1914 some of these horses were also commandeered. Most of them were progeny of the renowned Klinker stallion. General Koen Brits also rode one of these horses on his quest to Ovamboland. In 1934 these horses were almost extinct, but Karel Piet Steenkamp managed to preserve the remaining few. He married a young lady, Totie Hancke of Bethal and her father gave the couple some horses as a gift. One of these horses was the stallion Brandwag, he had excellent stamina under saddle and in harness. Later a Hantam stallion, as well as the stallions Rooipeer and Duiker, was used in this stud. Duiker was bred from a Hantam mare of George Louw of Colesberg. As from 1948, Dr. J. G. van der Wath who was married to Mawiek Steenkamp, daugter of Carel Gert Steenkamp continued breeding these Boerperde on the farm Welgelegen in the Ermelo district. During the 1950’s about 40 mares were selected in the mountains by the Steenkamps of Ermelo as well as Carel Hancke of Bethal. On Welgelegen a stallion called Fleur from the Steenkamp horses were used. As from 1955 to 1962 and later, the stallion Maritz and others obtained from oom Willem Cloete of Molteno in the Cape Province were used with the Steenkamp mares. These horses formed the basis of the bloodline, which we know today as the Lang Carel SA Boerperd Stud.
5] The Odendaal Horses:
[By Mr. Michiel Burger]
At the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War in 1899, Mr. H. P. Odendaal of the farm Sterkfontein in the Harrismith district (Free State) was renowned for his horses. Only 6 mares and a stallion, Rusland, survived the war. They were hidden in the mountains of Witsieshoek. He continued breeding with this nucleus until 1912 when he purchased a stallion, Napoleon, from Mr. Fred van Zyl of Colesberg. Napoleon was a black flea bitten (small white spots) Boerperd stallion, 14.2hh, that could do 6 gaites viz walk, trot, canter, slow gait, rack and saunter. He also excelled in double and single harness. Mr. W. A. Odendaal, grandson of Mr. H. P. Odendaal inherited six mares and a stallion from him. Prins, a foal of Napoleon was used until 1927. In 1943, a purebred Boerperd stallion, Absalom was purchased from Mrs. Pistorius of Hofmeyr. The progenitor, Sikspens, was born in 1959. He was a palomino of perfect beauty, 14.2hh that could also do 6 gaites. Sikspens was used for breeding until 1974. Six of his colts were selected for registration in the breed register of the Boerperd Breeders Society of SA. Koper, Nantes, Voorslag and Frank were some of his renowned progeny. Koper was a well-known 5-gaited horse and was ridden by Mr. At de Villiers. His progeny was also known to have been able to do 5 gaites such as his son, Dweper, his grandson, Geelbooi and great grandson, Rokker. They all possessed excellent movement and were Champions in dubble and single harness. Mr. Stefan Fourie used Voorslag and Frank in his stud with excellent resutls. Unfortunately very few of these horses remained after the stud closed down. In 1980, after numerous difficulties and lots of effort, Mr. Mof Grimbeeck, discovered Nantes and two chestnut mares, in Carltonville. Later other mares were found and he could continue breeding with this bloodline. Through Mr. Mof Grimbeeck’s efforts and vision this bloodline survived. To reinstate this bloodline to its former glory, he made use of Mof Grimbeeck Spokie and Dweper. Presently the Odendaal horses are a well known sight at shows and pleasure rides where they excel in 5-gait-, harness- and children’s classes. A foal of Dweper called Sikspens, is the first SA Boerperd that achieved two SA Championships viz SA Eventing Champion and SA Equitation Champion. He is also a CA-grade jumper. A German author, Ursula Brüns, in her 1970 book “Pferde der Erde: Süd Africa” sung the praises of the Odendaal horses for their excellent temperaments, hard hooves and comfortable riding ability. These horses are presently still conforming to these standards and fulfilling the promise for the future. May these palomino and chestnut horses survive forever!
6] The Middleton Horses:
[By Mr. Michiel Burger]
These black horses of Brindisi had their origin on this farm between Ficksburg and Fouriesburg in the Freestate on the Lesotho border. They were sought after and renowned for their endurance and their comfortable riding ability in the Republic of South Africa as well as in Lesotho. Mr. G. M. Middleton, born on 4/4/1889, testified that his father started breeding horses during the Anglo-Boer War. The British used the farm as a horse depot. A grey mare with a foal at foot was purchased. This colt, named Black, became the first breeding stallion of Brindisi. The breeding stock was later substantiated with horses from the Riemland. Horse traders used Brindisi as a thoroughfare to cross the Caledon River into Lesotho. Mr. Middleton selected mares from these traders. Chips, a foal of Black, was subsequently used as breeding stallion. Like his father, Chips could do a comfortable rack (“trippel”). Mr. Middleton was predominantly a big cattle farmer and bred the horses mainly for his own use. As a result of that, not much information or photographs are available about these horses. Not withstanding this, there is ample testimony to the comfortable riding ability and stamina of the Middleton horses. The Border Police, especially the Stock Theft Unit, preferred the Middleton horses because of their surefootedness in the mountains. In 1964 these horses were used extensively by the Police. Another outstanding example of the ability of these horses is borne out by the journey of Mr. Naysmith who bought a stallion and rode from Maseru in Lesotho, through Africa to Austria in Europe. The horse and journey is described in detail by his wife in a book titled “My ryperd, my man en ek.” After the establishment of the SA Boerperd Breeders Society in 1973 various breeders obtained some of these horses and the Middleton horses became a recognized bloodline. They became sought after Children’s riding horses and achieved accolades in Endurance rides. The Smit brothers of Slabberts utilised the stamina of these horses and excelled in Endurance Racing. Their stallion, Opstal Kweper, was the first stallion to complete 300 miles through the Kalahari dessert. The Middleton horses were also registered as marathon breeding stock. Christo Smit also obtained his Reserve Springbok colours for Endurance riding on the stallion Opstal Kweper. Unfortunately very few of these horses remained or are still registered at SA Studbook and the SA Boerperd Breeders Society.
7] The Streicher Horses:
[By Mr. Andries Streicher]
In 1973, Thys Streicher of Swellendam, bought two Nooitgedachter mares from Gerrit le Roux for his two sons, Erich and Andries. Initially they bred with a Nooitgedachter stallion, a son of Predikant. The two brothers were impressed with their temperaments but they wanted to improve the movement and riding ability of their horses. To achieve their goal they purchased two stallions, Klinker and Rubi, from Gerrit Cloete of Molteno. The progeny of both stallions inherited good movement with knee action and were all comfortable riding horses. The subsequent stallion the Streichers bred with was Cloete Eggo Klinker, son of Cloete Eggo Glips of Dawid du Plessis of Kokstad. Cloete Eggo Klinker was purchased from Willem Cloete. Excellent progress in the right direction was made and subsequently they bought and bred with Snap, a son of Cloete Eggo Klinker. Presently there are 7 studs in the Swellendam district breeding with the Streicher horses. These horses are known for their excellent temperaments, movement and comfortable ride ability.
8] The Namib Horses:
[By Ms Martinette Esterhuize]
According to research, the Namib Horse originated in about 1900. It is unclear exactly how these horses originated. One theory is that the Germans had a military base at Garub where they used al lot of European horses, as well as horses from Africa. The other theory is that the Namib Horse originated from Baron Hans Heinrich von Wolf’s Dawisib Stud. In one of his writings he mentions that he had 350 horses in 1912, and that he bred with horses from Africa as well as Hackneys, Thoroughbreds and Trakehner Horses. After the First World War and his death, the horses roamed free and wild. In July 2001 the number of the wild Namib Horses between Aus and Lüderitz was 96, of which only 34 were mares. The breeding herds were small with up to 2 stallions per mare. Stallion herds were also found. Due to the harsh conditions, only 40 percent of the foals survived. The Namib Horse is renowned for a calm, steady and honest temperament. The conformation is known as muscled, athletic, short backed, with sloping shoulders and fine and dry legs. Under good conditions they can grow to 15.2 hh. The horses are only found in brown, bay, black and chestnut, there are no white or grey horses. Originally there were 48 pure Namib horses at 10 breeders, 10 horses were marked as SA Boerperde and 4 were noted by the Breeder’s Society (and are used as foundation horses). This line is cross bred with good results with other SA Boerperd lines. The result of this cross is a dependable, naturally tame horse that is suitable for any horse discipline. There are already quite a few of these horses. The unique gene pool given by the Namib Horse, is making an important contribution to the development of the SA Boerperd.
4] The Modern Era
As from 2002 no new or estranged bloodlines have been or will be introduced into the breeding programme, as the huge gene pool within the Society is of sufficient strength to ensure prosperous breeding without inbreeding. The strict inspection of potential breeding stock ensures that only the best stallions and mares are used to further the quality of the breed. As a result of the quality of horses produced after 30 years of enforcing these strict rules, the SA Boerperd Society is today bred throughout Southern Africa and is the fastest growing horse breeders Society in South Africa.
5] The Law
Wanneer is ‘n Perd ‘n SA Boerperd?
[deur Mnr Carel Jacobsz]
Die hoefyster met die “B” binne in (B), is ‘n geregistreerde handelsmerk ten gunste van die SA Boerperdtelersgenootskap en indien ‘n perd gebrand is met die “Boerperd brand op die regterboud” is dit ‘n geregistreerde SA Boerperd met die nodige dokumente of registrasie sertifikate ter stawing daarvan. Rekords daarvan sal beskikbaar wees by:
1] Die teler of huidige eienaar.
2] Die genootskap se Kantoor.
3] SA Stamboekvereniging.
Keuring begin in effek die dag as ‘n vul gebore word. Elke teler het ‘n ideal van die “volmaakte” perd en daarvolgens beplan ‘n teler sy parings met sy beskikbare teelmateriaal. Ons as telers wag met belangstelling en nuuskierige hoop op die geboorte van elke jaar se vul oes en die groei van die vullens die eerste paar maande word belangstellend dopgehou. In daardie eerste maande van die vul se lewe vorm die teler sy opinie van elke vul en dis hoekom ek sê keuring (of seleksie) begin eintlik by die vul se geboorte. “Set your goal high. You may not reach it, but you’ll put on muscle climbing towards it.”
Omdat die SA Boerperdtelersgenootskap bestaan uit baie telers (elk met sy eie ideal) wat teel uit verskillende bloedlyne wat binne die ras fenotipies in ‘n mate effens kan verskil, is dit nodig dat ‘n “ideale Boerperd” aan die lede voorgehou sal word. Die strewe van elke teler behoort daardie “ideale Boerperd” te wees. Om hierdie rede bestaan daar “Rasstandaarde van die SA Boerperd” waaraan die afgelope 33 jaar voortdurend aandag gegee word.
Dit is my oorwoë mening dat die een enkele rede vir die sukses van die SA Boerperd die laaste 33 jaar die feit is dat ons ‘n keuringstelsel toepas in ons Genootskap. Die Rasstandaarde van die SA Boerperd word tydens keuring toegepas deur keurders wat deur die Raad van die Genootskap aangestel is nadat hulle die nodige kwalifikasies behaal het. Keuring behels dat die perde aan ‘n minimum standard moet voldoen voordat hulle aanvaar kan word as synde ‘n SA Boerperd te wees.
As ‘n vul gebore word, word ‘n vulpapier of vulsertifikaat vir elke vul uitgeskryf waarin ALLE besonderhede van die vul aangeteken word nl: geboorte datum, geslag, naam van vul, stoetery se naam, vaar en moer se name en registrasie nommers, beskrywing van kleurmerke, asook ‘n tatoëer nommer wat toegeken word vir identifikasie doeleindes. ‘n Afskrif van hierdie besonderhede word na die kantoor van die Genootskap gestuur vir rekord doeleindes. Indien perde van eienaarskap verwissel, word die perde se registrasie sertifikate of vul papiere deur die verkoper na die Telersgenootskap se kantoor gestuur, wie die oordrag na die nuwe eienaar sal dokumenteer en die nuwe eienaar dan van ‘n registrasie sertifikaat sal voorsien.
Voordat ‘n vul 12 maande oud is, moet die toegekende tatoëer nommer op die vul se boonste tandvleis getatoëer word. Dis ‘n numeriese nommer bestaande uit die teler se stoet nommer asook die volg nommer beginnende by 1, bv: 10 – 1. Wanneer ‘n perd 2 en ½ jaar oud is, word daar aansoek gedoen by die Genootskap dat die keurders ‘n teler se perd of perde kan keur. Gewoonlik sal ‘n teler self die diere wat vir hom nie op standaard is nie, self uitskot voor die keuring plaasvind. Bouvorm en ander kursusse word gereeld aangebied sodat lede self meer te wete kan kom van die rasstandaarde en die praktiese toepassing daarvan.
Keurders besoek die telers gewoonlik in Februarie of Maart van die jaar. Keurders sal hulself vergewis dat die perd se beskrywing op die vulpapier ooreenstem met die perd voor hom en dat die tatoëer nommer korrek is. Daarna word die perd volgens die onder afdelings van die rasstandaard gekeur. Indien goedgekeur, kry die perd die (B) (geregistreerde Boerperd brand) op die regterboud. ‘n Registrasie sertifikaat word dan deur die SA Stamboekvereniging vir die spesifieke perd uitgereik met ‘n rekenaar registrasie nommer. Rekords van alle geregistreerde perde word ook in die databasis van die SA Stamboekvereniging en die SA Boerperdtelersgenootskap op geneem.
Sedert 2005 word alle hingste, wat voor keuring kom, op ‘n streeksbasis op drie of vier verskillende plekke in SA op ‘n gesamentlike hings keuring voorgebring om gekeur en gebrand te word. Drie keurders sal dan die groep hingste in ‘n streek evalueer, eers as ‘n groep en daarna individueel. Die doel daarvan is dan ook om meer eenvormigheid in die ras te verkry. Terselfdertyd is dit ‘n leerskool vir teenswoordige telers en ander belangstellendes. Hingste sal dus in die toekoms, behalwe in uitsonderlike gevalle, nie meer op telers se persele gekeur word nie.
Die minimum standaarde volgens ‘n puntestaat is onlangs verhoog en volgens dit moet Hingste 75% behaal, Merries 70% en Reuns 65% om gebrand en geregistreer te word as SA Boerperde. Daar word op die volgende onder afdelings gelet, nl:
* Algemene Voorkoms
* Kop
* Nek
* Voorlyf
* Voorbene
* Middelstuk
* Agterkwart
* Agterbene
* Hoewe
* Beweging
* Tipe
* Temperament
Elke afdeling tel uit 100, met ‘n minimum vir elke onder afdeling. Indien ‘n perd minder as die minimum in een onder afdeling kry, word die perd af gekeur. Indien die betrokke keurders onseker is, of indien die verlangde persentasie nie behaal word nie, kan so ‘n perd vir ‘n jaar oorgestaan word om te sien of die dier na ‘n jaar en op ‘n meer volwasse stadium, die verlangde standaard sal behaal.
Die temperament van elke perd word ook so ver moontlik geëvalueer tydens die keuring. Verder moet die eksterne geslagsorgane van hingste ook besigtig word. Om eenvormigheid in die ras te verhoog en te behou, word sterk gelet op die tipe (fenotipe) om in te pas by die standaard wat gestel word.
Om die genotipe of die genetiese eienskappe te bewaar en te beskerm word alle perde wat gekeur is, en gebruik word vir teling, se DNA eienskappe opgeteken en deur die Landbounavorsingsraad (LNR) in ‘n databasis bewaar. Alle vullens wat gebore word se ouers moet “ge – DNA” wees volgens die grondwetlike bepalings van die SA Boerperdtelersgenootskap.
Die keurders het ‘n groot verantwoordelikheid teenoor die telers en teenoor die suksesvolle voortbestaan van die SA Boerperd as ras. Graag bedank ons ons keurders vir die diens wat hulle lewer in hul eie tyd.

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