Tony Botes – saving the polo ponies

Tony has done 26 Umkos. He reckons he did his first SOBER Umko a few years back. Afterwards was prize-giving at Richmond CC. As he drove out to go home he was delayed for two minutes by someone who wanted to talk. As they then left they saw a horsebox overturn right in front of them. They stopped and found the horsebox on its roof, horses on their backs, legs in the air. The driver of that car phoned for a vet – they thought the horses would be put down.

Tony, Gary Clarke and other paddlers went to work: Untying their tie-downs they attached them to the horses and dragged them out on their backs. Once out of the trailer the horses were able to stand up unharmed.


Tony sat on the boat trailer with nineteen other paddlers as Colin Ballie Roets drove them out from Riverside (the same rescue Hugh Bland spoke about). While sitting in the cockpit of a boat on the trailer someone asked him what he did and on the spur of the moment he quipped “I’m a gynaecologist”.

Well, some fellow rescuees call him “Doc” to this day.


Colin Ballie Roets says Tony can’t swim, is terrified of water and has done 26 Umkos!!

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids, paddling rivers, travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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