We diversified our farming activities and bought my first Matetsi Sables in November 1999 from Koos Venter of the farm Beestekraal. Koos is an honest and passionate breeder with an incredible knowledge of Sables, and he sparked my interest in, and eventual love of the Sable Antelope Species.
During 2000 we bought heifers from Lydenburg, in 2003 cows from Ellisras and in 2004 more cows from Fritz Eloff of Bandelierskop. Some of our first buffalos were also bought during 2006 from Fritz, who has since become a much appreciated friend.
Two sections of the game farm Ballysax, west of Musina, were bought in 2004. This was done to professionalise our game farming. I also bought pure Livingstone Eland, imported from Zimbabwe, from my father. This was one of the most beautiful herds in the country!
In 2006 we obtained the SA Record for a Livingstone eland bull at the Soutpansberg Scarce Game Species Auction held in Alldays. In the same year (2006) we drove nearly 5 000 km in search of Zambian Sable bulls. We bought two exceptional bulls:
The first bull was from Ian Eastby in the Northern Cape – 24 months old with 27” horns. This bull, named Ian, had to go to the heifers immediately which unfortunately inhibited his horn growth. Ian has bred exceptional 30”+ cows and 45” bulls for us. We sold one of these 45” bulls at the Benchmark Auction of 2013 for R 600 000.00 - next best price for a bull on the auction!
The second bull was from Edwin Claasen, Shelanti, from Stud Game Breeders. This bull was approximately 12 years old with 44,5” horns and he was named Stamper. The day I saw Stamper for the first time I fell in love - exceptional in all aspects! This bull has an incredible history - as a young bull he was brought out from Zambia as a "Giant" sable due to his appearance, for the huge amount (then) of R 500 000.00! Stamper was well known over South Africa! Once, when I was selling 5 of his heifers, I phoned potential buyers - every buyer knew Stamper or had heard about him, but none had ever heard of Leon Vos! The 5 heifers were snapped up by Wiaan van der Linde from Wintershoek, Kimberley, South African Game Farmer of the year 2011 - 2012. This bull bred the most beautiful female animals - these can be seen annually on any Piet Warren auction. 30” – 34” Cows from this bull are not unusual. Unfortunately, on a very sad day in 2011, Stamper died!
To find a bull for these two bulls' heifers was not an easy task. We travelled 3 000 km all over South Africa in search of the right one. We eventually found what we were looking for at Tina de Jager in Vryburg. During August 2011 fourteen beautiful Zambian cross breeds (75% - 93% pure) were off-loaded at Ballysax. Amongst these were John (Madala son), a pure Zambian bull with 47.5” horns, as well as 4 Stamper cows!
We are proud to be part of Benchmark Game Breeders, known for their high standards. During 2012 we were again privileged to obtain a SA Record on a Benchmark Auction – R 675 000.00 for a Matetsi cow with a John heifer and pregnant from John again!
During December 2012 we went on holiday at Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, and bought a beautiful farm between Grahamstown and Port Alfred which forms part of a 45 000 ha conservation area! We have been at Wolf's Crag since December 2013. Both my sons form part of these farming activities and we are planning to expand our herds and increase our species.
During November 2014 we moved one of the sable herds from Musina (45°C) and 30 hours later they were offloaded in a wet, cold Eastern Cape (15° C)! Unfortunately we lost two cows due to pneumonia.
We started 2015 off by buying a 47.5” purebred Zambian Sable Bull from Ian Eastby and renamed him Dark.
We also bought an almost 45” Eastern Africa buffalo bull from Clayton Fletcher, Tinashe , and he was offloaded on Wolf’s Crag together with the buffalo cows from Musina, once again in wet, muddy conditions! We had to use tractors in order to pull out the trucks and trailers! This bull’s sire had a 50” horn length! Our current buffaloes are all Kruger bloodlines.
On 10 May 2015 we offloaded a beautiful young King Wildebeest bull, Koning, on Wolf’s Crag. He is the son of Matopi and was bought from Ferdie Oosthuizen from Pilansberg Game Breeders. Koning’s brother, yet another Matopi son, was sold the previous week to Pieter Ernest (Bona-Bona) at a new South African record of R8.6 million! Koning is one of the very first, if not thé first, King Wildebeest in the Eastern Cape.
As farmer and game breeder I always strive in pursuit of the highest standards, and honesty and integrity are of cardinal importance to me. I treat all buyers accordingly and am proud to maintain good relations with all previous buyers, most of whom have become good friends, and I am always prepared to assist them with advice.
All glory, honour and thanks to our Heavenly Father for his abundant blessings to our family and our farming activities in the past as well as in the present. Without Him it would not have been possible to have accomplished so much.