Samaritans turn out in numbers for hungry horses

Eileen van der Schyff

It started as a trip out to Rooibank to view the Kuiseb River flowing. It ended in a spectacular mission of mercy in which people opened their hearts to save seven horses severely weakened by months of drought.

A group of people recently traveled to the Rooibank area on Saturday (23 January) to see the Kuiseb River flowing. They spotted seven horses, including a foal, near Homeb. The animals are skinny and it was clear the animals were severely under-nourished.
One person in the group, Colette Nell, is a horse lover and were so touched by what she saw, she responded: “I wish I had food to give to these horses.”
Nell’s life partner, Bono Vox, decided to add action to the words.
Not knowing the origin of the horses, Nell took pictures of the animals and sent it to her mother to post on Facebook.
Very soon a certain Nikki Guther saw the post and requested to share it on her Facebook account. She posted: “We are trying to arrange grass bales for some very emaciated horses out at Homeb. We have someone driving out this weekend that is willing to bring the grass to them. If you have any grass bales to spare or would like to contribute.”
It was at this point that Guther’s post went viral and assistance started to pour in at overwhelming rate.
“My phone started to ring non-stop since the post of social media. It is amazing how many people offered assistance.
In the meantime, the Namib Times was also alerted of the situation and after a brief investigation established the horses belong to Mr. Len Kooitjie who has his homestead near Homeb.
When contacted Mr. Kooitjie said he is in a dire situation with the animals, as the drought require him to feed the horses. Although he has a lucerne patch going at his homestead, it is not sufficient to feed the horses.
Kooitjie lost his means of income during the Covid-19 lockdown and was grateful for the assistance to feed his animals.
Vox collected the first consignment of lucerne, sponsored by Rossi Schommarz of Swakopmund, on Wednesday. Nell, her mother Hanne-lie Engelbrecht and Kooitjie drove out to the homestead at Homeb yesterday and the horses began to feed.
Some of the other institutions and individuals that got involved are Rix Transport from Windhoek, Chante Nell from Grootfontein, Transpartners Namibia and Optic Exclusive,
Apache Appaloosa Ranch, Grant Cloete of SA Scale Company, Christiana Hass, Heino Pascheka, and Lionel Smith, Chante Nell and Heather Craemer.
If you can assist, kindly contact Collette Nell at 081 410 5522.

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