Shortly after our arrival on the farm in 1964, I accompanied my Dad to a livestock auction near Bellville in search of a draught horse to work in the vineyards. “No pull no pay” declared the auctioneer, as my Dad successfully bid for Sussie.
It soon transpired that Sussie was in foal. I don’t recall whether it was just before the end of the year or just in the new year that Justin, a strapping young colt, was born.
On the farm, Sussie’s main function was to plough a furrow on both sides of the vineyard rows, the so called “bankie”, from which the weeds were later manually cleared or “geskoffel” using a long handled spade. After delving into family albums we found the photograph below which, with some technological wizardry, was converted to digital format. A little unclear but one can see Sussie ploughing a “bankie”, with Justin getting an early introduction ahead.
Sussie’s duties were relieved when we acquired Mr Plod, our part Flemish draught horse.
It was however, time for mechanisation and we soon acquired a 1949 Ferguson tractor, locally known as the Vaaljapie.
After years of working in the vineyards and trundling 2.5 ton loads of grapes to Stellenbosch Farmers Winery, our Vaaljapie was retired.
Fortunately, I not only have photographs, I still have the real thing!
And so began a refurbishment project.
Now fully reconditioned and running!