The Journey of the Stud (1944-2022).
The stud had been in the family since the early 40's of the last century. The current owners are PD and Hendrien Jacobs, from the Trompsburg area in the Free State. Hendrien's Grandfather, Reinier van Rensburg had an exceptional passion for the Friesian Horse and was the founder of this stud. During the difficult depression years he bought his first Friesians from, what was then called "The Cape Colony", these strong horses had a much better working capacity for ploughing and drafting than other horse breeds at that time. Grandpa Reinier was so impressed with the black horses's easy trainability and wonderful temperaments that he soon started to compete in local shows with his Friesians. Passop and Ruiters were a champion driving pair, they were the foals of the famous Vreesniet from Mosselbaai. After great success with these horses, Grandpa Reinier bought a champion stallion named Tiger from Ben Mostert. He started breeding with Tiger on his farm, Jacobs Erf, in the Frankfort district. Ben Mostert and Grandpa Reinier often exchanged horses by train. Ben preferred heavier Barrock style horses, while Grandpa Reinier favored lighter and more moveable horses with natural movement and working ability. Hendrien remembers how her Grandfather often commented on a horse with natural flowing movement: "Look, he is swimming!".
Hendrien (60) remembers the annual event when her Grandfather summoned the herd of black horses to the kraal to select young horses to train for showing. All the horses were then branded with a hot iron on the hind quarters. To her as a child, it was a day of mixed emotions, great excitement shared with empathy for the once free animals. In Grandpa Reinier's workshop he casted each horse's individual shoes and in his free time he made his own bridals and harnesses.
Grandpa Reinier's son, Gert van Rensburg, inherited the stud and continued to show and breed with these horses for many years. After PD and Hendrien's (Gert's daughter) wedding in 1979, Hendrien's father sent nine young mares by train to Trompsburg as a wedding present for his daughter. Since then PD and Hendrien have been breeding Friesians with great passion on their farm Vlakfontein in the Southern Free State. In 1981 they founded Vlakfontein Friesian Stud, and kept improving the stud using both SA Studbook and FPSSA stallions. PD and Hendrien, also breeders of finewool Merino sheep soon utilised the Friesians' loyal working ability and gentle temperaments as an important workforce on the farm for herding sheep. The image of a proud black horse behind a herd of Merinos is still seen today. The love for these horses lives on in the hearts of their five daughters and grandchildren who are now the fifth generation that shares the passion for these wonderful black beauties. In 2014 Daneille, they're 4th daughter, took over the management of the stud and the horses were relocated from Vlakfontein to Lucerne, a neighbouring farm. In 2015 the family decided to restore the name of the stud back to it's original name of Jacobs' Erf in honour of Grandfathers Reinier and Gert, the farm where it all began, and the pure coincidence that Jacobs' Erf (erf is an Afrikaans word for both "inheritance" and "yard") stud is now owned by Jacobs's!