Jean-Mari & Basjan

‘Every horse deserves a second chance…’

On the morning of 11 October 2020, Jean-Mari Dr Villiers received a call from Panthera Africa, The Lion Farm in Stanford, asking if they could assist with helping a healthy 3-year-old horse. This boy, Basjan, had this whole life in front of him!

The people who sent him to the lion farm did no longer want them or wanted to take care of Basjan so Jean-Mari told them that he will be under her care.

 The process requiring him was not too difficult. That same morning that Panthera Africa reached out to Jean-Mari, she organized with her friend, Katheryn Marshall, that they go and fetch him. At first, he was a bit nervous of the box but knew they wanted to help him. Their main priority was to get him to a safe place asap. 

 There were some issues regarding trust in the beginning in Basjan, he was nervous and almost looked as if he has no emotion. He was extremely nervous to go into the Tack room area for his pamper sessions so that took some time to get used to. Lots of hours spend just praising him and spoiling him, once he went in, he was still anxious and panicking. 

 Their biggest challenge was getting the perfect friend for him as he was all alone in a paddock where they fetched him. So, he would allow every horse to bully him. Another challenge was finding him that perfect owner which they did. She did not really want to adopt him to anyone, so Jean-Mari was so grateful when the Owner of Panthera Africa said she will adopt him so he can stay with them. He lives his days at Modderivier Livery Yard. 

Basjan has crawled into many people’s hearts in a very short time. He is now Panthera Africa's ambassador! They have raised some money to have his vaccinations and passport done and their lovely farrier sponsored his first trim as he was covered in ticks and invested with worms.

 He is now happy and healthy.

Jean-Mari’s intention for this rescue was give him a second chance at life, he deserved. Being only a 3-year-old dumped in a veld to survive on his own and then people wanted to send him off as lion food, why would one do that he is healthy otherwise. She is a huge animal lover and this was her very first rescue, to see the change in him is worth everything. 

 A memorable moment shared with Jean-Mari and Basjan was the day he came to her in the paddock on his own resting his head against her and just snoozing away as if he was thanking her. Also, the first day he met his new owner. 

 A huge shout out to Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary for phoning Jean-Mari, to the owner Lizaene Cornwall for adopting him and to all the staff members who raised money between them to pay for his vaccinations and have his teeth done. To Philip Kotze, her farrier, for sponsoring his first trim and continuing his amazing farrier work on Basjan’s feet. 


Jean-Mari’s message to everyone is that every horse deserves a second chance! Basjan has taught her patience, he has mended a broken heart, as she lost my heart horse, Midnight, around the same time. He was now my focus. She met new people whom have become her best friends, more like family and the whole Panthera Africa crew who supports me and my yard so much. He was an absolute blessing in her life and still is. 

Have you rescued a horse and/or animal or currently have a rescue horse and/or animal? If so, would you like to share your story with us by sending us an email about it with a picture of your rescue!