Moutonshoek Grooms tragedy

Moutonshoek Grooms tragedy

Moutonshoek Stud Farm have suffered another tragic loss as they lost three grooms on the way back from the National Sales in Joburg.

This follows the sad death of the studs owner recently.

Romi Bettison took to Facebook to post the following update on the tragic circumstances.

“Today my heart bleeds. I found out that early this morning, our grooms were in an accident on their way home from the sales, and were involved in a head on collision with 2 other trucks.

Karel Skirmaans, Andreas Swarts and Nico Ockhuis lost their lives, Pieter Johnson has been taken into hospital with damage to his leg, and Hendrik Saroon, Jaco Kito and Jerome Jakobs were thankfully left unharmed.

I cannot even begin to describe the hole I have in my heart. These men I can only describe as family. To Karel, Monkey and Nico. You were true horse men, true gentlemen and carried hearts of gold. They were dedicated, passionate and faithful to their jobs.

Karel was their voorman. He looked after the team at Moutonshoek for 15 years. He is responsible for training almost every single groom on that farm. He is responsible for teaching me MANY things, I have irreplaceable knowledge that he has given me.

Monkey – or Ben 5, what a man. Small in size but huge I’m heart. From looking after the foalings, to Sparkling up the horses for the sales ring, he was a truly talented young man.

Nico – with similar skills to Jaco- he was only getting better and better with a horse. So gentle and patient and quick to learn. Always a smile on his face and a laugh that got everyone laughing with him.

Pietie – please recover fully and get back to what you love. A better foal man you will not find. You can be sure to find him in a stable with any sick foal, nursing it back health. Doctor cant do the season without you, Piet.

Jerome, Jaco and Hendrik – how happy I am to hear that you are all fine. Look after yourselves. You are all one of a kind.

I am truly heart broken today. I cannot stop thinking about the families that have been affected by this. Magrieta, and Davine van Rooyen as well as all the children. My heart goes out to you! Moutonshoek has been through such hardship. It will never be the same without the men that have left us.

Rest in Peace Karel, Monkey and Nico. ”

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