Abandoned Skollie voted the best SARDA volunteers

Skollie accepts his ribbon from Dr John Charles of Peninsula Equine Hout Bay, held by John Nopuyithi as he has been voted the best by the South African Riding for the Disabled Association volunteers.

A pony called Skollie was almost unanimously voted horse of the year by volunteers at the South African Riding for
the Disabled Association (SARDA).

Every year Sarda holds a lunch to thank its 120 volunteers for their time and effort, with many having been there for decades.

Sarda’s Bee Lukey says of this number 80 are active, with 62 of them attending the event in the Brommersvlei Road grounds of the organisation on Friday November 24.

She says they come from far and wide – Sea Point, Hout Bay, the northern suburbs but mostly the Constantia Valley, Claremont, Kenilworth and Newlands.

The volunteers are also representative of all age groups although Ms Lukey says most are retired.

And from fund-raising and sorting items for their monthly car boot sale they are presently adding names to the roster for gift-wrapping at Constantia Village.

This is one of many fund-raising events they host throughout the year. But the main need is for leaders and side walkers to help with lessons for physically and intellectually challenged adults and children ranging from seven to 76 years of age. The association helps children from 13 specialneeds schools and many of the youngsters are from disadvantaged homes.

Skollie is one of the 12, plus the miniature horse Hobbit, living at Sarda (“Skollie finds salvation at Sarda”, Bulletin May 31). He was one of 41 malnourished horses confiscated from a Philippi farm after they were abandoned. Now that he is back on his hooves, he has joined the other Sarda horses in the therapy programme.

Accepting his ribbon from Dr John Charles of Peninsula Equine Hout Bay, held by John Nopuyithi Skollie was re-
luctant to leave a field of fresh grass and his equine pal Flea. One ear twitching, the other hidden by his long fringe covering soft brown eyes, deep scars on his chest and back are a reminder of a past life.

Dr Charles says Skollie is so named because he was owned by gangsters on the Cape Flats and was used as their getaway horse, pulling a cart. “When apprehended, he ended up in the pound and had a criminal record. He’s been in and out of the
SPCA.”

Sarda is still caught in a struggle for its survival after its Brommersvlei Road grounds, which it has occupied for more 30
years, were awarded to a family by the Land Claims Court in 2013 as restitution for land the family had lost under apartheid.

Sarda is appealing the decision in the Supreme Court of Appeal and is seeking compensation in the form of land
rather than money (“Boost in support of SARDA,” Bulletin, March 23).