Zimbabwe Horse Farms Under Attack

Horses in Zimbabwe are facing injury and slaughter due to a government land grab.

According to reports from racing officials in South Africa, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has instituted a program whereby all white farmers must leave their land immediately, with the farms ostensibly being given over to the poor. According to Robin Bruss of the South African Jockey Club, however, those lands are being allocated to Mugabe's family and high-ranking militia members. Bruss said that Mugabe has arrested at least 50 farmers and intends to do the same to the remaining 1,900 white farmers who refuse to leave the country.

Peter Moor, chairman of the Zimbabwe Thoroughbred Breeders Association, has moved off his farm and relocated to South Africa for the time being. He told Bruss that militia members last week demanded his stud manager leave the property, and then subsequently beat horses, with three mares aborting.

"In regard to the horse racing and breeding industry, we are seeing the decimation of a proud and successful industry," said Bruss. "What will happen to the breeders? Their horses?"

Moor, a prominent lawyer, said many of his farms have been seized by the Mugabe government. Next year's foal crop in the country will be roughly 50% of what it was just three years ago. Another farmer, Terry Ford, was murdered, and his band of mares had to be humanely destroyed by the SPCA after the horses had been starved and abused, according to a report in the Sporting Post.

About the Author

Lenny Shulman

Lenny Shulman is features editor of The Blood-Horse magazine and author of Ride of Their Lives.

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