The Porterville Tentoonstelling or Die Skougronde as they are commonly referred to form an intergral part of daily life in Porterville. Since it’s inception in 1928 as an Agricultural Market in the town centre just off present day Voortrekker Street it now has a home at the at No 1 Park Street to which the Title Deed of 1955 attests.
The Showgrounds offer a wide array of activities to the whole community and continues to grow from strength to strength. As the last fully functional showground in the Berg River Municipal area it is vital to see this institution take its rightful place amongst the great outdoor venues that form part of the Bergrivier Adventure Capital
A brief overveiw of daily activities
The gates to the grounds are normally opened daily in summer at around 06h00 to allow for feeding of horses stabled at the venue.
There are two areas within the grounds – the first being that of horses that are under training and the second that for leisure.
The trianing normally consists of two session of three session in a day, the first of which begins at about 07h00 and lasts until 10h00 when a break is called for breakfast. The type of work done during this period is normally schooling of horses to becom profeceint at pulling carriages, be that initialy walking horses on long line reins around the outer arena, working with light weight carts or building muscle by use of resistance excersises.
From 10h30 until 13h00 this is repeated across a range of working horses with the addition of arena work in preperation for agricultural shows.
During the summer months work normall stops from 13h00 for lunch until 14h00 and dependant on the daytime temprature ( under 35 degrees at most) may resume at 15h00 for light work and work on specific horses that need more advanced training.
Feeding time commences as from 16h00, by which time all the horese are in stables and made ready for the night.
During any time of the day at this section of the grounds horses maybe being shod, sheared or washed by either the stable grooms or in the case of hoof work by a professional farrier that visits the stables at least once a week to assist as required. The farrier is particulary busy before competitive shows and public display events such as wedding carraige events
HORSE RIDING LESSONS
The morning session is normaly for riders who need ‘time in the saddle” as they are older and often already able to ride to a satisfactoy level. These riders may also take lessons in the lunging arena which is an intense form of training for noramlly no longer than half an hour.
The horses are left to rest between 11h00 and 15h00
The afternoon session is mainly younger riders working on the basics of horsemanship, and the lessons are normally done two at a time to build rider confidence.
The weekends are reseved for booked outrides.
The recreational centre is a facility that offers child education and care during the week. The centre opens each weekday at 08h00 or slightly earlier to accommodate parents who start work at 08h00.
The programs vary, but would normally include art, reading, and hand skills exercises. These activities would be for the younger children in the morning.
All of the children have lunch at the centre and are joined by slightly older children who are collected from schools in Porterville for the afternoon session.
Most afternoons the children are taken around to feed the horses snacks and are taught about how animals need to be treated. On an Ad hoc basis the children do gardening in the facilities veggie section before it becomes too hot.
The day ends normally with storey time and tidy up at roughly 16h00.
The Recreational centre is not open on a weekend, however on market weekend it is open for kids to make use of the play area.
WORKING ON FIRE
Greater Cedarberg Fire Protection
The Working on Fire base is stationed on the Showgrounds and is operational year round – although staff compliment varies from summer to winter. The base serves as a training facility for bush fire fighters and work in close association with Cedarberg Fire Protection. Many of the young members are qualified at helicopter fire drills and often act as first responders to bush fires throughout the Cedarberg area. The base is on permanent standby during the summer months.
SATURDAY MARKET & CAR BOOT SALE
The Showgrounds host a farmers market every second Saturday of the month which is open to all vendors in the area as well as from the surrounding towns.
Live music is often provided from opening until close which is normally from 08h00 until 13h00.
A number of stables are available to rent which include both stable and paddocks combined. The number of stables occupied varies throughout the year.
The riders are allowed to make use of all the facilities on the grounds which would also include the services of the farrier and when on site the horse dentist.
Weekend outrides are common although exercising of horses in the arena is permitted
ACTIVITIES HOSTED AT THE GROUNDS DURING THE YEAR
• Annual Porterville Commando outride 14 – 15 July 2023 – anything from 60 to 130 horses partake
• Motor Car rally – 3rd June 2023 the grounds are used as a base for the start and end of the rally
• Porterville Agricultural show – this year is 1-2 September 2023
• Art Weekend ( 28 September – 1 October) is an occasion where the grounds are used for participating artists to exhibit work in conjunction with open village studios. The function is organised by Berg River Tourism.
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