Billy was born in South Africa in a little town called Kleinzee, right in the middle of diamond country. Most of his childhood was spent on a timber and cattle farm in the Eastern Transvaal lowveld. This is where he discovered a passion for horses, teaching himself to ride (mostly bareback) at a young age. He and his horse would disappear for hours at a time, much to his fathers' dismay, exploring every nook and cranny on the 1000ha farm.
At 18 he was called up to the army to do two years national service. He was in a mounted infantry unit that, with their horses, was based all over the country, including six months in Kruger National Park.
He then went on to do a further 5 years in permanent force where he qualified as a Master Farrier specializing in pathology.
Since leaving the army, he has called Cape Town home except when crewing for 2 horseback expeditions: One from Windhoek to Cape Town and one from the coast of Mozambique through Zimbabwe and Botswana to the coast of Namibia.
It was on these previous expeditions that the African Hoofprints idea was born... It took him 10 years to plan it all and to achieve his dream of riding across Africa...
Since he qualified as a farrier, he came to realise that putting shoes on horses was not in their best interest and has spent many years experimenting with barefoot. It is this hard earned knowledge that is taking our horses barefoot across Africa.
Here are a few photos of him taken along the way...
|Give me a kiss!|
|Aren't you going to share?|
|Crossing the crocodile infested river to cut grass for the horses!|
|I'm the winner!|
|The wild man of Southern Sudan!|
|Early morning endurance ride..|
|Billy and Filly|