THE HISTORY OF THE RAND HUNT
The Search for Land
Urbanisation was quick to sprawl to the area around Inanda and even from the 1940s the Rand Hunt's attention had been focussed on the Diepsloot valley when Tommy Charles first had the idea to look for a country property. The area was unique in that it offered a substantial area of suitable and interesting riding country, not easily found in Gauteng, particularly for its close proximity to the main Club and major residential areas. To see a newspaper article from 1960, click here.
Once the Sandton development began to close in on the hunt, a permanent foothold was sought in the Diepsloot valley. As the Inanda Club was not able to assist financially with this initiative, members were invited to make outright donations or guarantee stop orders to finance a substantial loan. In this way in the early 1960s the Club acquired the Inanda Country Base, at that stage known as Hunt Base. With the urbanisation of central Sandton, the kennels and hounds were moved to Inanda Country Base, making access to open hunting country a lot easier. Sadly some of the land originally purchased was later sold to provide a sorely need cash injection into the Inanda Club.
Although originally conceived as a "Hunt Base", the Inanda Country Base (ICB) has grown beyond the expectations of the original planners. Having started as the home of drag hunting and hunter trials it is now recognised as home to South Africa's premier cross country events, polocrosse, country shows, carriage driving and many other equestrian and country pursuits requiring open and accessible land. Substantial facilities have been created in support of these equestrian disciplines and activities. In addition ICB attracts a combination of competitive and social baiters and riders. The large following of adult social riders is a unique feature giving ICB a strong and popular club image geared for pleasure riding and well known for having the "best" outrides. It is also situated in the most densely horse populated area in the southern hemisphere. This has arguably transpired because of the very existence of ICB.
Peter Wilson appointed Conor Doak as a Joint Master in 1975. In 1987 Earle Seals joined his good friend as a Joint Master. By the end of the 1980s, the continuing threat of urban development, now reaching Kyalami, was evident to the members and a project was launched to ensure that the land controlled by Inanda in the Diepsloot valley was able to sustain the activities that had been attracted to this venue. Good hunting ground in this valley was becoming more and more difficult to find.
1954 - Buccleugh Castle Meet
Peter Wilson and the hounds at a check