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The Pony Who Became a Race Horse

written by Monique Fallows

A pony who became a race horse in Kenilworth, Cape Town.

Posted on Friday, 11 May 2012

This is not a shark related blog but since we have so many nature & wildlife enthusiasts that follow us I felt I had to share this enormously heart-warming story…

I come from a family of animal lovers so of course when I met with my cousin Tony recently he had to pass on the story to me and I in turn want to share it will all of you!

Tony is a good friend of the Cape Town Race Horse Trainer, Dean Kannemeyer. Dean is one of the most well respected trainers in South Africa and has many accolades to his name. 

Back in December 2010 Dean was contact by the SPCA Horse care unit as they had on their hands a very undernourished and abused pony that had been confiscated in Philippi. Unfortunately in South Africa a lot of ponies are still used for hard labour and many of them are kept under terrible conditions. The SPCA does have the authority to intervene if need be. In this case the situation was so bad that the pony had to be taken away from its original owners. This part of the story really tugs at my heart strings… the pony had collapsed under the weight of its cart. Very sad indead.

Once in the care of the SPCA the pony started its recovery process but it still needed a home. Dean Kannemeyer was contacted and promptly fell in love with the piebald pony. Dean has now adopted him as a lead pony/ lucky mascot for the Kannemeyer yard.

And so, this is how “South Africa” (due to being Black & White!) came into his care. Stables, grooming and feeding can become an expensive exercise and it costs in the region of R5,000.00 per month to home him.


For the first time in his life this little pony now not only has a fancy name but also a roof over his head, he is groomed and exercised each day as well as being well fed.  With just a little TLC his character has grown amazingly and is a favourite at the Stables. In fact he has even been assigned his own groom/ workrider.  This has made for quite a sight in the training sand track. 


For the first time in his life this little pony now not only has a fancy name but also a roof over his head, he is groomed and exercised each day as well as being well fed.

When I heard the story I asked Tony if I could visit the pony. So, a couple weeks ago, Tony, My Mom, Benji (Mom’s dog!) and myself went off to The Stables in Kenilworth. Before we even met the pony I was completely blown away by the majestically athletic racehorses. I have never been so close to one before and to be surrounded by so many was quite overwhelming. What specimen’s! They were also really friendly and absolutely loved getting a nice pat from us.

Finally we got to South Africa’s stable. Oh! He was so adorable with his shiny coat which he seemed so proud of. His black and white colours reminded me of a jersey cow, but I guess no one is minding since he is keeping such good company.

He was a little shy but when we brought out the bag of carrots he relaxed and enjoyed a good pet from all of us. It was a fabulous 30 minutes spent with him and now Chris wants to join us next time to get galloping pics of him!

I guess to end off the story it is heart-warming to know that even after such bad treatment the animal’s spirit can bounce back after only a little care and love. And I think it is a great testament to Dean Kannemeyer that he is able to put back as he has done so here. I did spy another pony at the stables so I don’t think this is the first time!

In fact Dean Kannemeyer urges/challenges other trainers to do the same and adopt from the unit.

Thanks to Tony and Dean Kannemeyer Racing for hosting us for a morning.



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