Housed in what was formerly, in the 1800's, a school and boarding house, and more recently a cabinet maker's workshops and residence, is the very unique Horse Museum of Richmond. It is only one of two such museums in the world which is dedicated to the saddle horse.
The building was purchased by Oom Charl van den Heever, a long time horse judge, in 1955 for an amount of R300, and with Bill Sieberhagen, the regional horse show organizer, set about the long and pains taking process of putting together an exceptional museum. It was a remarkable of demonstration of the incredible foresight of the two gentlemen to preserve for future generations, an era which has passed us by. Aided by Charl's ever patient wife Moira and to local school teachers, items were collected and displays set up. The large high ceiled timber-floored rooms have displays of everything from saddlery and harness ware to carriages and Cape Carts. One piece of which the museum is particularly proud is the "Nachtmaal Wa", a cart dating back to the mid 1800's, which the old farmers took to town on the occasion of the quarterly Communion service at the Kerk. Any horse enthusiast will be able to spend hours browsing around the displays and reading from the many riding and horse interest books and periodicals on display.
There are displays of stamps from around the world, all of which have been dedicated to the horse. This collection is probably unique to the Richmond Horse Museum.
However in addition to the equine related artifacts there are some fantastic displays of fashion, including a large display of ladies gowns and dresses from the mid 1800's and early 1900's, as well as work and household displays all, of which offer a glimpse of pioneer life in a long forgotten era.
There is a collection of rare old guns and pistols, muzzle loaders, and hunting rifles. One of the most cherished items on exhibit is pump organ dating from 1745 and still in perfect working order. Oom Charl may upon occasion be heard, feet madly pumping the bellows, playing a Bach Fugue!
When you are passing through Richmond you are invited to contact one of the curators in order to arrange a guided tour of the much loved Richmond Horse Museum.
TEL: JOHAN TOLKEN 082 631 2488