Owners Mike and Jane Uys are both keen equestrians and have established at Old Halliwell a “Rest home for horses “where loving owners have sent their fine steed to recuperate or retire in lush green pastures in the heart of the Midlands.
I am a complete novice when it comes to horses, the first time I met Beaulah, I thought she must be the Queen of the paddock because she has bangles on her feet. She is also the great escape artist and refuses to stay in the paddock but making sure she takes her friend Kahlua along for excursions all over the property.
As time progressed I realized just how special these horses are, considering that they were once on top of their game in the show jumping arena and on the race track. We just have to share with you the characters, personalities and the antics of them all.
“Majestic” Martha an Irish Draught I am told, features quite prominently on our Social media pages and most brides’s wedding albums; she is the white horse that steals the show with every wedding taking place at Old Halliwell. Martha after 5 years, in the mean time has returned to her family once from Johannesburg now living in Hilton. Manjie-Manjie a white horse as well, on the other hand loves his mud baths, don’t dare to leave drums of water unattended, he will kick it over and create his own spa mud bath and Moon Dragon does the typical “monkey see, monkey do” it is continues grooming with those two.
Love D’ior or aka Doris is another “Golden Oldie” that loves the Garden Ceremonies and will run non-stop up and down the paddock fence for attention, much to the amusement of our wedding guests.
Danata who absolutely adores children is definitely the sneaky one giving the grooms a hard time when it is time in the afternoons to return to the stables, she has problems with her back legs but still manages to give them the run around.
New arrival County spent his first few days with friend Roki to just ease into his new environment but oh boy once he had settled in he also took to escaping the paddock and taking along with him Red and Fred who normally mind their own business and just enjoy retirement to the fullest. Needless to say, the recent “great escape” had the entire staff and guests running to the rescue.
The special care for these retired horses are astounding, Jane personally attends to each and every horse’s needs whether it is medicine, special feed or just the tender loving care. Both Mike and Jane ensure that not only the stables but also all paddocks are kept in pristine condition.