Only in PE – horses ‘vosho’ to gqom

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Front Page - Zi­zonke May mayz@ti­soblack­star.co.za

“Our horses are so strong you would think they take sup­ple­ments and they can do the vosho .”

This was an­nounced by a po­lice of­fi­cer as the DJ cued in Impi by Jonny Clegg and the SAPS mounted unit showed off their slick fox­trot moves to the likes of Tipcee and Mlindo in Port El­iz­a­beth on Thurs­day.

The 16-horse parade took cen­tre stage when the an­i­mals were brought onto the field at the NU2 Sta­dium in Mother­well to greet and “salute” po­lice min­is­ter Bheki Cele at the demon­stra­tions for the SAPS Safer Fes­ti­val Sea­son op­er­a­tion.

That salute, a sort of bow that took the form of the vosho (a pop­u­lar dance where you go down low and some­times kick), was fol­lowed by a dis­play of what makes the horses of the mounted unit crime-fight­ers of note – or high notes, as it turns out.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­gramme an­nouncer, the horses un­dergo ex­ten­sive train­ing and groom­ing which in­cludes lis­ten­ing to all gen­res of mu­sic, in­clud­ing gqom – a mu­sic form which emerged out of Durban and has a strong bass beat.

“Our horses re­ally love the at­ten­tion, so don’t hold back. Give them a big cheer and round of ap­plause,” urged the an­nouncer.

And from there the dis­play picked up pace with the horses’ first fox­trot be­ing pre­sented to the sounds of Amab­lesser by Mlindo, much to the de­light of the crowd.

The horses gal­loped in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion, later slow­ing down to a uni­form trot go­ing into their next for­ma­tion.

“The horses move to the rhythm of the mu­sic and it takes hours to [train] them to do so – our horses have ex­cel­lent lis­ten­ing skills,” the an­nouncer said.

“Be­cause of the height of the horses, it gives the rider a bet­ter view of what is go­ing on.”

The horses are used in moun­tain­ous ar­eas, on the beach, and in search­ing for miss­ing per­sons in wood­lands.

Ac­cord­ing to the SAPS of­fi­cial, the horses lis­ten to gqom and other pop­u­lar gen­res of mu­sic such as Afro soul and pop so as to get used to the sound and not be dis­tracted dur­ing the pur­suit of criminals.

But the most fas­ci­nat­ing mo­ment was when the horses started prop­erly danc­ing.

They demon­strated a more upbeat fox­trot to Bhampa by Sphec­tac­ula and DJ Naves fea­tur­ing Tipcee, and Go­bisiqolo by Bhizer, fea­tur­ing Bu­siswa.

Four horses then broke away from the rest, go­ing into a mod­ern dance for­ma­tion.

The horses moved vig­or­ously as they “made the cir­cle big­ger” and then smaller.

From there they fox­trot­ted back to the group, while one that seemed to en­joy the spotlight stayed be­hind do­ing a rhyth­mic trot to Go­bisiqolo, with the crowd cheer­ing on.

All prov­ing that the SAPS mounted unit is hot to trot.

Pho­to­graph: WERNER HILLS

DANC­ING HORSES: Po­lice horses strut their stuff as min­is­ter of po­lice Gen­eral Bheki Cele and na­tional po­lice com­mis­sioner Gen­eral Khehla John Si­tole launch the Na­tional Safer Fes­tive Sea­son anti-crime cam­paign in Mother­well

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