All posts by Sarah Smuts

Riverleigh International Equestrian Centre annual fancy dress freestyle charity event


The annual fancy dress freestyle charity event is one of the highlights on the Riverleigh International Equestrian Centre`s event calendar. All proceeds and donations this year will go to  Elephants Alive.

Riders of all ages enter and compete in this freestyle event and the routines are judged by professional judges. Prizes and trophies are awarded to the best riders for their technical ability and their innovative “fancy dress freestyle routines”.

In order to compete, the riders choreograph a freestyle routine to music, and appropriate costumes are worn by the riders and their horses to reflect the chosen theme. The process takes many months of planning and practice to reach the high standards expected of both horse and rider.

The event is held on a beautiful country estate in Muldersdrift, Gauteng. The property has been professionally designed to include plush livery quarters for horses, ultimately designed for Dressage with two top class full sized arenas, a show-jumping arena and smaller arenas for lungeing and pony riders. The full entertainment/catering area is used for show days and seasonal and fun events and can also be used as a place to just sit back, relax and soak in the absolute calm and inviting country atmosphere.

This is not a graded event, but all are most welcome! For more information regarding the event, or how to get involved, please contact Sheba Zager at


3 nights self-catering accommodation for 4 guests at Offbeat Horse Safaris, trail ride on game farm and a 2 hour horseback safari in the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate with African Dream Horse Safari


Celebrating Elephants Fundraising Event

We hope you can join us for our fundraising event, Celebrating Elephants, on the 4th October at COOBS Restaurant in Parkhurst. Please email for further information.  #celebrateelephants




PHOTOGRAPHIC COURSE  – Sponsored by College of Digital Photography

SILENT AUCTION PRIZE – Gold chain and elephant charm sponsored by Bowes Brothers


  • Product Hamper
  • Scott Ramsay wildlife book
  • Wine Magnum
  • Case of wine

SPOT PRIZES (stickers under chairs)

  • Elephant wine holders/bottle Big Feet pressed for Elephants wine/art deco wildlife coasters


FRAMED AUTOGRAPHED ELEPHANT PRINT BY PENNY ROBARTES –  The 48,3 x 32,9 cm image, All the Little lights, reached the semi -finals of the BBC Photographer of the Year competition in 2016.

The print will be available soon for purchase in the online store on her website




Rescue of a Gentle Giant

Wire wrapped round Kenny. Credit: Tammy Eggeling

By Jessica Wilmot, Elephant Alive.

What started off as a normal research day in the field, ended as one of the most humbling experiences for the Elephants Alive research team. On route looking for one of our collared elephants, we drove past a waterhole where a few young bulls were drinking water. We stopped to take ID photos of the bulls in view and waited for one particular one that was hiding in the mopane thicket, continuously dusting himself, to come closer to allow us to take photos. When he finally came into view, we immediately noticed a bundle of wire cord dragging behind him. It then became clear that this cord was tightly wound around his right back leg. Without intervention, this bull elephant would not have been able to remove the cord by himself and would eventually experience excruciating pain as it wrapped more tightly around his leg.

I immediately contacted Henry Hibbett, the manager of Ndlopfu, one of the shareholder blocks in Umbabat Private Nature Reserve, who immediately contacted the vet, Pete Rogers, together with the owner of the property we were on, as well as getting permission to dart the elephant.  It was with sheer luck that the vet was with someone who could drop him off with his helicopter, as dusk was steadily approaching.

With the elephant safely sedated, our team worked wonders in removing the cord as quickly as possible. Luckily, no external injuries occurred but his foot was hideously swollen from all the pressure. I shudder to think what would have happened to this beautiful bull had we not decided by chance to drive past that waterhole. But thankfully we did, allowing Elephants Alive to be part of something wonderful. It’s not every day that you feel like you’ve actually made a difference in the world, but this day was an exception.

Checking our ID records later that evening, we realised that this was a 20 year old bull called Kenny. We look forward to seeing Kenny again and continuing our work in the field.

An elephant sized thank you to vet Pete Rogers – wildlife vet, Henry Hibbett – Manager of Ndlopfu, Paul de Luca – landowner,  Jana Meyer – helicopter pilot, and Umbabat Private Nature Reserve for covering the costs of the operation and Theo van Wyk, Chairman of Umbabat’s assistance for making this happen.


Entries are invited for the Elephants Alive! Art Competition

Art-Eclect Studio in collaboration with The Art Square Studio Gallery at The Pumpkin House in Langebaan invite you to submit an artwork towards raising funds for a Collar Tracking Project in Hoedspruit.

The exhibition will be hosted in Langebaan at Pumpkin House with an Opening Night on Friday 22nd September 2017, accompanied with wine tasting.

The exhibition dates are 22 – 24 September 2017.


  • Closing date for confirmation of participation and Entry : Tuesday 1St August 2017
  • Entry fee: R100 per artwork submitted (nonrefundable)
  • Collection date of work not sold – Monday 25th September 2017

There are 2 cash prizes:

  • First Prize : R2000
  • Second Prize : R1000

Conditions of Entry:

  • All details of the artist and artwork entry must be submitted via email.
  • Once the registration process is complete a reference number will be given for each artwork entry.
  • The artwork must be delivered to The Art Square Studio Gallery at The Pumpkin House – 54 Park Drive, Myburgh Park in Langebaan by the 8th September 2017.
  • Curation takes place on the actual artwork and not the online submission.
  • Failure to deliver the artwork to The Pumpkin House will result in non-participation and no refund of entry fee.
  • No late entries will be accepted


Download Art Competition Registration Form

Registration forms can be sent to  by the 1st August 2017.

Theme – Elephants OR their Habitat

  • Elephants only – Not the Big Five
  • Fauna and Flora of the natural Habitat of the Elephant.

Terms & Conditions

How winners are selected:

All artists, those with formal training as well as self-taught artists, are afforded an equal opportunity to participate in the competition.                                                                                             Three independent curators will be chosen for their particular field of expertise within the visual arts.

The criteria for the curating revolves around:

  • With regard to technical implementation it is important that the work of art reveal an expert handling of materials and techniques and are presented in such a way that inform the curators that the candidate was mindful of the work having to stand in its own right as an artwork
  • Simultaneously, the conceptual nature of the work is also about the artwork conveying a message that is accessible to the viewer
  • A freshness of vision implies that the artwork has to reflect something that is not imitation, but rather engages with new and honest ways of seeing within the context of the theme set.
  • The artist has shown a great consideration for the artwork’s ‘look’ in terms of visual quality representing the intended theme.
  • The panel of Curator’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Who may enter:

  • Local and Western Cape artists

Which works may be entered:

  • An entrant may enter ONE artwork only.
  • The artwork must have been completed in the last 24 months
  • Only an original artwork may be entered.
  • Entries in any medium will be accepted.
  • An artwork, excluding the frame, must not be smaller than A3.
  • Artwork must be of such a nature that they can easily be packed, transported and exhibited – if sent by courier.
  • All artwork entered must be for sale. The selling price must remain the same as the selling price reflected on the registration form – A gentle reminder of the cause we support when you price your work – please keep it sellable.

Preparation of works of Art:

  • Entrants shall ensure that the artwork is ready for exhibiting.
  • Artwork to be hanged must be properly framed with hooks and hanging wire already attached.
  • In order to avoid damage to the artwork, it is advisable that the entrants use Perspex covering as opposed to glass.
  • The artist’s name and title of the artwork must be clearly attached to the back
  • Competition organizers will not be under any obligation to return the artwork after the exhibition.

 Dispatch, copyright and sales:

  • The entrant is responsible, both practically and financially, for packaging, insuring of the artwork submitted, dispatching to and from Langebaan to The Pumpkin House for preliminary selection.
  • Art-Eclect Studio, Elephants Alive and The Pumpkin House reserves the right to reproduce artworks that are entered, without compensation to the entrants, for the advertising of the exhibition and the benefits of the ‘’Cause’’.
  • Should any artwork be selected for the final exhibition, the entrant shall not be allowed to withdraw any of the artwork selected for any reason whatsoever.
  • All artworks are to be for sale.
  • Please bear in mind that 30% of the selling price will go towards  ‘’Elephants Alive’’:
  • The winning and 13 merit artworks selected will be exhibited in the main Gallery on a silent auction, with opening bid as price indicated.
  • Remaining Artworks will also be presented for sale.

Risk, damage and/or loss:

  • The organizers in no way accept any responsibility or liability for loss of and/or damage to an artwork.
  • Entrants assume all responsibility for arrangements with the organizers for the collection of the work after the exhibition.

Enquiries, Collection Point & Contact Details     

  • Hanli – The Art Square Studio Gallery at The Pumpkin House: Location for delivery and collection of Artwork – 54 Park Drive, Myburgh Park, Langebaan, 7357
  • Karen – Art Eclect Studio : Coordinator for ‘Elephants Alive’ and Registration of artwork –

We are looking forward to your participation…Enjoy, enthuse and inspire!