Famous Horse Fence

full-fence-2

There are places with their Eiffel Towers, and others with their Big Bens – in Sedgefield we have the Horse Fence.

fence-full1

Built clinging to the lagoon shore and the coast line, Sedgefield is cut through on the very outer edges by the freeway traversing the Garden Route, the N2.  A lot of people are unaware of our fynbos covered dunes and blue waters as they skirt past town on their way to Knysna or Plettenberg Bay. But mention Sedgefield to them and they all say one thing, ‘Is that the place with the Horse Fence?’.

With a solitary traffic light and a tiny population the Horse Fence is what really saves Sedgefield from being a One Horse Town (sorry, tried to resist). Built in 1971 out of solid cement by local building contractor Petrus Neethling, the fence, which circles a small house on the N2, has endured despite being called kitsch and hideous (even by it’s current owner) and is now a landmark.

Cactus horse

Cactus horse

As a kid I loved the fence and wished we could have one of our own but my tasteful middle-class parents stubbornly resisted. Each horse was always painted a different colour – I remember browns, yellows, brick-reds and an avocado green during the 70s – but their new owner, Segdefield vet Anuska Viljoen,  has taken what was outrageous and pushed it well into the realms of the bizarre.

Does this need a caption?

Does this need a caption?

As a young girl on holiday in Sedgefield, Anuska remembers deciding, as kids do,  that she would become a vet and that the Horse Fence house would be her clinic. Qualified as a veterinary surgeon and ready to establish a practice in Sedgefield, when the Horse Fence house came on the market she didn’t waver from her childhood dream.  Her offer to purchase was accepted by Mr Neethling’s widow, who was probably swayed by Anuska’s plans to establish a ‘horsepital’.

'Horsepital' anatomy 101

'Horsepital' anatomy 101

After Anuska had renovated the practice she tackled the Horses.  She put out the word that she was looking for artists willing to paint the horses at their own cost and nine took up the creative challenge.

mosaic

rainbow

The only horses that remain untouched in virgin white are the two that meet in the middle of the fence. Breathlessly poised in a pre-kiss pose the two rearing equines are waiting for enough money to be donated so they can be covered in mosaic.

two-kissing

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3 Responses to “Famous Horse Fence”


  1. 1 Carla Bauer February 19, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Aaah how well I remember that fence, being a horse-crazy little girl who grew up in Knysna. I’m thrilled to see it’s still there and has been “revamped” a bit, even though I now live in a faraway land. Happy memories …

    • 2 Jeannine February 19, 2009 at 9:10 am

      Yip Carla, it would have been awful if someone had torn it down. Luckily it went straight from the creator’s widow to a vet!

  2. 3 Carla Bauer February 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    … and I love what’s been done with it. Long live the horse fence!


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