Close this search box.

Horses – the equine industry


Horses in South Africa are used in a wide array of activities. They are very effectively utilised in poorer communities as draught animals, for general transport and as an agile means of tracking stock animals in remote and rural areas where motorised vehicles are inadequate or unavailable. Horses are also extensively used in sport and leisure and in some cases are considered champion athletes that can have large commercial values attached to them.

Source: Otto Koekemoer, ARC-OVR

International business environment

To find out about the international business environment :


South Africa: import and export

The export of horses from South Africa first go to Mauritius, then to the European Union, and from there to the USA, Australia or wherever. As can be imagined, this adds to the costs of equine exports. This is as a result of the protocols set in place by the World Health Organisation after an outbreak of African Horse Sickness in 2011. A two-year ban is put in place each time there is an outbreak, after which an audit is done. After several outbreaks an audit was scheduled in April 2020; however, the COVID-19 lockdown has caused an indefinite delay in the resumption of exports.

Previously, the horse racing industry employed about 60 000 people and contributed an estimated R3-billion per annum to the economy (Cameron, 2020).

Refer to the articles by Jooste and Cameron for more.

National strategy and government contact

African horse sickness (AHS) is a notifiable disease in South Africa – all suspected cases have to be reported to a State Vet. Cases have to be confirmed at the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) reference centre for African horse sickness at the ARC-OVR. Visit and for more information. A PDF on AHS can be accessed at

  • SA Equine Health & Protocols (SAEHP)
  • Find the Western Cape Department of Agriculture‘s Veterinary Services webpages at
  • Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) Find details of different directorates like Animal Health and Animal Production at (take the “Branches” option). Other relevant government departments include Trade, Industry and Competition; Higher Education, Science and Technology; and Sports, Arts and Culture. Find details of all government departments at

Role players


Note: Click to expand the headings below. To get a free listing on our website like the ones below, visit here for more information or place your order hereDisclaimer: The role player listings are not vetted by this website.

 Representative Bodies
 Training, Consulting & Research Service Providers
 Community, NGO and NPO Service Providers

Further reference:

Associations involved

The following are affiliated to SA Stud Book (find society website links on the Stud Book website):

  • Appaloosa Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
  • Arab Horse Society of SA
  • Cape Boerperd Breeders’ Society of SA
  • Friesian Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
  • Hackney Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
  • Nooitgedacht Horse Breeders’ Society
  • Percheron Horse Breeders’ Society of SA
  • SA Boerperd Breeders’ Society
  • SA Minature Horse Breeders’ Society
  • Saddlebred Breeders’ Society of SA
  • SA Paint and Pinto Club
  • SA Quarter Horse Association
  • SA Sport Horse Federation
  • SA Vlaamperd Breeders’ Society
  • Welsh Pony and Cob Society of SA

Other societies include the SA Warmblood Horse Society, Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of SA, Standardbred Breeders Association of SA, Trotteurs Francais Breeders Association of SA, SA Hackney Pony Breeders’ Society and South African Lipizzaners.

South African Equestrian Federation (SAEF) falls under the Federation Equestre Internationale, which governs the sport internationally. Most of the following are SANEF-affiliated bodies and groups:

  • Carriage Driving Association of South Africa
  • Council of Equine and Equestrian Professionals (CEEPSA)
  • Dressage SA
  • Endurance Ride Association of South Africa
  • Equestrian Coaches Association of South Africa
  • Equestrian Qualifications Authority of Southern Africa
  • Eventing South Africa
  • KZN Breeders
  • KZN Dressage
  • KZN Pony Club
  • Mounted Archery Association South Africa
  • National Horseracing Authority
  • Polocrosse Association of South Africa 
  • Showing Association of South Africa
  • South African Association of Professional Farriers
  • South African Equestrian Tentpegging Association
  • South African Equine Veterinary Association
  • South African Equitation Association (SAEQA)
  • South African Mounted Games Association
  • South African National Equestrian Schools Association (SANESA)
  • South African Polo Association
  • South Africa Showjumping
  • South African Western Mounted Games Association (SAWMGA)
  • Soweto Equestrian Centre
  • The Racing Association
  • Trotting South Africa
  • Vaulting Association of South Africa

Training and research

Other role players

Take a look at a network of equine industry business on the Equine South Africa website – visit  Also find role players on the general “Animal husbandry” page.

Websites and publications

Visit the websites listed earlier on this page.

  • Visit, website of Kejafa Knowledge Works, for publications which include: (i) The Complete Equine Veterinary Manual Tony Pavord & Marcy Pavord (ii) Die SA Boerperd (a full colour Afrikaans publication) (iii) Natural Horse Care Pat Coleby (iv) Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses (breeding, care, facilities) Heather Smith Thomas (v) Storey’s Guide to Training Horses (ground work, driving, riding) Heather Smith Thomas.
  • HQ, “South Africa’s Premier Equestrian Magazine”. Visit
  • A Guide to Animal Diseases in South Africa – Horses, Donkeys and Mules by Pamela Oberem is available from Afrivet. Visit
  • Find the “Horses” option at


Some articles

Table of Contents