The drought of 1933
During the drought the Kotzé’s heard that there were still good areas for grazing available near Grootdrif, under the Bokkeveld mountains. There was decided that, apart for a couple of cart horses, all the horses were to be taken to the mountains along the Old footpath, because there was no feed at Willemsrivier. It is also the route that was taken by Maritz during the war on his way to Vanrhynsdorp.
But unfortunately the horses couldn’t adapt to life by the mountains, and all of them died, including to good mares, Tyna and Grace, with which grandpa Theunis in 1926 (Tienkie’s dad) won the cup at Calvinia’s farming week (which is now known as the agricultural expo) in the cart horse class.
What made it such a disaster for Willemsrivier is the fact that most of the horses were descendants of the Prince of Wales horses.
With the Prince of Wales’ visit to South Africa in 1927, he brought special horses to transport his wagon train. After his visit, the horses stayed in South Africa. Grandpa Paul Kotzé (Tienkie’s grandpa) bought one of the foals with the name Ladise, at Robertson from a certain Mr De Wet. This was a beautiful animal and thereafter the horses were “bred higher in quality”.