Dunkeld Equestrian Centre

Project Details

Spend endless hours on horseback with breath taking scenery, give back to the community and uplift the youth and explore Mpumalanga region with exciting excursions.

Where We Work :

Dunkeld Equestrian Centre is based on the exquisite Dunkeld Country & Equestrian estate which is located a few kilometers outside the small town of Dullstroom in the Highveld region of the Mpumalanga province in South Africa. Dullstroom is only 245km or 2h30 minutes drive from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. This little town is very popular especially for avid-sportsman who benefit from the high altitude of 2100m above MSL and of course for romantic getaway weekends in front of the cozy cottage style fireplaces and good red wine. Dullstroom is a malaria free/low-risk area but some of the excursion that we offer take place in meduim/high-risk zones.

Our History:

Dunkeld Country Estate was founded in 1994 as a family getway farm for the owners of the Touch Down Group, over the years it grew and is now a well established resort that sleeps over 500 people. The Country Estate has been offering trail rides to guests since the early 2000's but the Equestrian Centre on the estate was only established in 2012 with the vision to become an exclusive venue for the luxury living of horses, guests to enjoy these wonderful animals and to grow to become a state of the art competition venue and stud farm. 

Dunkeld is a 100 hectare estate which is divided into 3 sections, the country estate, equestrian estate and the agricultural development. The estate is home to our gorgeous and reliable trail horses of various breeds, the warmblood stud horses, Angus and Drakensburger cattle, Merino sheep, Angora goats and wildlife such as Zebra, Black Wildebeest and a variety of antelope.  The estate offers various types of accommodation on this pristine estate and is a very popular fly-fisherman's weekend getaway destination as it offers over 20 trout stocked dams which allows for endless hours of fishing. Along with the accommodation and fishing the estate offers exciting adventure activities such as abseiling, rock climbing and an adrenaline pumping high ropes course. Enjoy the magical scenery of the estate by taking on one of our many hiking trails, mountain biking and adventure running trails where you will encounter various terrains and enjoy up close and personal encounters with the game on the farm. The equestrian centre at  Dunkeld consists of two yards, the trail centre and the competition venue as well as the Warmblood stud farm. The centre is home to 40 horses of which 15 are trail horses of various breeds such as the Boerperd, Nooitgedacht, Friesian and Percheron cross  and the other 25 are warmblood sport horses which are used for competition, leisure/outrides and breeding

What We Do

With a small but dedicated and enthusiastic team, the Dunkeld Equestrian staff offer guests and volunteers an unforgettable equestrian experience, whether it is on a trail ride through the country side or simply being involved in the afternoon snack time shenanigans at the Warmblood stables where the manager and staff will introduce you to all the horses and throw in some wonderful facts about each horse.  For the more experienced horseman we offer exciting outrides with adrenaline pumping gallop stretches and exciting encounters over various terrains that the country side offers, our team is also willing to teach the most beginner rider to become more confident in the saddle and even the more experienced riders can tweak their skills on our magnificent horses in our arena with a gorgeous view.

As an upcoming and new competition venue, guests and volunteers are able to enjoy the benefits of having a show atmosphere on their doorstep. We include everybody in the preparation, running and participating of our events which just adds to the fun and vibrant atmosphere.The venue offers shows across most disciplines such as showing, equitation, show jumping, dressage and stadium eventing , we also support our other local yards by taking a few horses to compete in all disciplines throughout the year.

Dunkeld is proud to showcase their magnificent breeding stock to their guests and volunteers, we include and involve guests/volunteers in our vision and plan for the future of our stud farm. Every year the team breed a small number of the mares to outside stallions as well as our two homebred warmblood stallions to produce top quality sport horses on a small scale. When the foals are born, they become the stars of the estate as the guests/volunteers spend endless hours with them, watching them play in the paddocks and pampering them with cuddles.

Our Vision & Goal: 

Our vision at Dunkeld Equestrian Centre is to share the passion we have for our horses and animals on the estate with all our guests and volunteers. We want the guests/volunteers to interact with the horses, learn and understand their ways and to enjoy being in the presence of these magnificent animals. Other than growing to become a exclusive show venue and a quality Warmblood stud farm, we also want to share our knowledge of natural horsemanship with our visitors, whether its basic horse handling/stable management or helping them improve their riding skills with a kind, gentle and understanding manner towards horse and handler/rider. We hope that the passion we share with our visitors will reflect in the outreach program that we involved in by treating the children and their animals with the same kindness and understanding as we display with our loved horses on the estate. 

Who Are We Looking For: 

Dunkeld Equestrian Centre invites all horse lovers, whether you're a beginner or a very experienced rider/horseman who would love to share the place we call home with us. We are looking for 18 to 30 year olds who are hard working, willing, passionate about the outreach aspects of programs and of course who want to experience the endless hours of fun on the estate. 

Why Choose Us: 

We are a vibrant,fun and enthusiastic team that will ensure that you will have an unforgetable experience in the countryside. Now that you have a better idea of what our estate is all about, why not come visit us and live the dream of the equestrian team.

The main focus of the project is on
Contact Person
Carla Gerdes
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

Our estate is very proud to be a part of community upliftment and social development as 90% of our staff members on the estate are from the local community in Dullstroom. Every year the estate raises funds which are allocated to various aspects of need within the local community such as dry food packages distributed to those in need within the community, planting of fruit trees in individual gardens, planting of trees for protection of the horrible winter winds and to aid in soil erosion in the rainy seasons.

Recently the equestrian team has become more involved with the children who own horses in the local community, here they spend time with the children and educate them about the general welfare and care of these precious animals which they use for everyday transport and of course enjoyment on the weekends. We aid in treating injured horses, provide certain vaccinations and deworming/dipping products, trade old broken tack for second hand tack which we collect from locals in the area.

With the help of the volunteers as well as local fund raising, we will soon be able to start sterilization and vaccination days for the dogs within the local community.

Our team is also very involved with the Dullstroom Learning Centre, where volunteers and social workers spend their afternoons with school going aged children, helping them with their homework, tutoring in basic subjects or getting involved in their weekly sports development days.Donations of much needed equipment and funds happen on a regular basis for which the learning centre is forever grateful.

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