‘ Love at first sight’

A New­cas­tle man is rais­ing the qual­ity of farm horses

The Witness - Wheels - - BUSINESS - ED­WARD WEST

MQON­DISI Dladla’s pas­sion for horses has seen him be­come the first black per­son to start a stud farm for Stan­dard­bred horses in the coun­try.

He hopes his horses will one day con­trib­ute to im­prov­ing the qual­ity of those run­ning in the an­nual Dundee July, which has be­come a lead­ing race for trip­ping horses. The horses cur­rently run­ning the race are of mixed breeds and are usu­ally farm horses.

Dladla, from New­cas­tle, was born in Osizweni just out­side the town.

He said in an in­ter­view that his pas­sion for horses started when he was about six years old, vis­it­ing his grand­fa­ther who was a live­stock farmer just out­side New­cas­tle. There was a small herd of mixed horses, which were used to herd cat­tle, which Dladla rode.

He started cat­tle farm­ing on a small scale in 2004 and bought some horses for herd­ing.

A chance drive by the Utrecht horserac­ing track, where there was a trip­ping race un­der way, changed his per­spec­tive in­stantly. “I could not be­lieve the speed and the agility of those horses. It was love at first sight,” said Dladla.

At the time, the pro­vin­cial Depart­ment of Sports and Recre­ation and Trot­ting South Africa had plans to im­port a Stan­dard­bred stal­lion, Golden Tilly, from Swe­den.

Stan­dard­bred horses are nat­u­ral gaiters and are nat­u­rally con­formed to the Ru­ral Teleb­hela Rac­ing Gait, needed for the races hosted yearly at Dundee by the Depart­ment of Sport and Recre­ation.

The top blood­line stal­lion was im­ported and made avail­able and ac­ces­si­ble to ru­ral horse­men and women who were in­ter­ested in the Teleb­hela Gait Race, to cre­ate a stan­dard breed of horses to race at the Dundee July.

For Dladla it was an in­valu­able op­por­tu­nity. “I started to buy breed­ing mares which were to be foun­da­tion horses for breed­ing this amaz­ing breed. I looked for top reg­is­tered blood­lines of dif­fer­ent breeds from top South African breed­ers — the Cape Bo­er­perd, SA Bo­er­perd, Amer­i­can Sad­dlers as well as Thor­ough­breds. Due to fi­nan­cial con­straints, I took only four of my mares for cov­er­ing and three con­ceived.”

He said he now has two fil­lies and a colt from the stal­lion, and he re­cently ac­quired a one- year- old colt from the same im­ported reg­is­tered Stan­dard­bred ( Golden Tilly) sire and a fully im­ported Stan­dar­d­ard-bred dam both from Swe­den.


Mqon­disi Dladla with a foal sired by win­ning Swedish Stan­dard­bred stal­lion Golden Tilly, which was brought to South Africa to im­prove the blood­line of the ru­ral horses rac­ing in the Dundee July. Dladla, a mu­nic­i­pal direc­tor from New­cas­tle, has started a stud farm and is the first black per­son to own a busi­ness ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing the blood stock of trip­ping and cart horses in the coun­try.

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