Artist: Wendy du Plessis
Title: Basuto Pony
There are 4 indigenous horse breeds in South Africa, one being the Basuto pony which I thought I would honour on this panel. The Basuto pony comes from Lesotho in South Africa. This breed is derived from the Cape Horse which was introduced into Lesotho during the invasion of this territory around 1822. The Cape Horse itself was descended from Barb and Arab horses imported in 1653 by the Dutch East India Company. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, these horses were introduced into Lesotho, these horses benefitted from further infusions of Arab as well as English Thoroughbred blood. As a breed the Basuto pony dates back to about 1830, but the random way in which it was bred, combined with unfavourable climatic conditions, has gradually transformed both the physique and character of this animal, increasing its courage and endurance. It was used in the Boer War and also as a race horse and polo pony. It is powerful and has good endurance, easily covering 65 miles a day with a rider weighing over 220lb in the saddle. This pony manifests a clear tendency to revert to its primitive origins as will any breed that has been carefully created and reared by man if subjected to adverse conditions, or simply left to its own devices.