09/01/1937 – 06/03/1992
Robin Rous was born in Victoria West and started school at Rondebosch Boy’s High School. He finished his schooling at Union High School in Graaff Reinet. He was a gifted sportsman and received school colours for tennis and cricket.
On leaving school, he was accepted to study Veterinary Science at Onderstepoort, where he played rugby for the OP First Team. He qualified in 1960 and subsequently moved to Colesberg where he started the Karoo Veterinary Hospital. Over the years he practiced with Dr.Hercu Van Niekerk, Dr.Casper Troskie, Dr.Peter Ward, and Dr.Francois Marais. He mentored many veterinary students and new graduates during his career.
He married Lynn Graham from Trompsburg in 1962. They had four children, Karen, Gavin, Trevor, and Edwin. He was a devoted father and an enthusiastic supporter of all his children’s extramural activities and encouraged them all to study further.
As a veterinarian, he was well respected in the equine fraternity and performed one of the first caesarian in the country on an equid – in this case on a donkey jenny. Both the jenny and foal survived. He was later part of the team of Dr.Hercu Van Niekerk, Dr.Ron Bester who performed one of the first elective caesars in the country on a valuable Thoroughbred mare belonging to the Birch Brothers who couldn’t foal naturally. A successful caesarian section was subsequently carried out another three times, assisted by Dr.Chris Marlow.
During his career, Colesberg was the premier horse breeding area of South Africa, boasting 36 Thoroughbred horse studs, as well as numerous Saddlehorse and Arabian studs. He was very skilled in his reproductive work and was able to pick up early twin pregnancies and follicles via manual palpation in the era before ultrasound scanners. He also did a lot of orthopedic operations on foals with limb deviations-operations that had been developed in the USA and that were relatively new procedures in South Africa.
He was one of the pioneer surgeons to successfully operate on sheep and remove taenia cysts from their brains. He also initiated the treatment of rams with urinary calculi where he inserted a Foley’s catheter into the bladder, giving the calculi time to dissolve.
He was also a Thoroughbred breeder in his own right and founded Henham Stud which bred numerous successful horses, including Tucson, Cavillan, and Rebel’s Reward, amongst others.
Robin was a founder member of the Equine Practitioner’s Group (presently known as SAEVA) and regularly attended all of their annual congresses following the inception of the group. He used to organize the local marathon in Colesberg and was always an enthusiastic runner. In his spare time, he vetted at numerous Endurance Rides, as well as competing himself towards the latter part of his life.
Apart from numerous 80km rides, he even completed the national ride at Fauresmith, over 210km, as well as the Hofmeyr 100 Miler on his Thoroughbred gelding, Monty Bodkin (holder of the SA Sprint Record over 1 000-1 200m).
He was a founder member of the Colesberg Rotary Club and the Colesberg Pigeon Club (as well as chairman on occasion). He also served on the Colesberg Municipal Council for a few years and was Deputy Mayor of the town. He was a church warden in the Anglican Church (Christchurch) in Colesberg. He was also a keen fisherman when on holiday.
He will always be remembered as an enthusiastic participant in everything that he took part in.
He passed away on the 6th March 1992 whilst taking part in a running marathon in Oudtshoorn.