MEET OUR TEAM
Elite Equine is a South African family-owned company, dedicated to supporting riders and their equine partners. Our organic equine rosehip supplement was first released in the United Kingdom and South Africa, witnessing great success. Top riders in the United States and Canada quickly realized the benefits of rosehips, creating a demand for a U.S. hub. In late 2020, Elite Equine U.S. was launched in the United States. Led by an amazing team of passionate horse riders, owners, and trainers, our U.S. hub is serving horse owners looking for safe, natural health supplements for their trusted equine partners. Created for equestrians by equestrians, Elite Equine is the premier organic rosehip supplement used by owners, stable managers, and competitors across the nation.
Herman and Catherine Nieuwoudt
Founders Herman and Catherine Nieuwoudt’s interest in natural health supplements and medicinal alternatives led them to develop an organic supplement derived from pure, wild-harvested rosehips. Through The Rosehip Company, the Nieuwoudts have been able to source high-quality, pure rosehip to dry and grind to use as the sole ingredient of Elite Equine rosehip powder.
Executive Sales Manager
James was raised in South Africa, where he began playing polo at the age of 10. His love for the sport led him to the United States at 18, where he soon became a professional polo player. For the last 25 years, James has played polo professionally, having competed in some of the sport’s most prestigious tournaments. James has managed and played on the Nashville-based Riverview Polo Team since 1994 and has several titles to his name. In 2015, James founded Franklin Polo Academy with fellow professional player and teammate Stevie Orthwein. James provides a lot of insight on what it is like to compete at the highest level of equestrian sport and is a wonderful source of knowledge for our professional equine customers.
Account Executive & Sales Representative
Hailing from the quiet town of Huntington, West Virginia, Sammie grew up dabbling in many disciplines. While attending Ohio University, she competed in multi-disciplined IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Showing Association) events (Hunt, Western, and Dressage). Once out of college, she became involved in the sports of horseracing and polo in Lexington, Kentucky. After working as a full-time professional polo groom for several years, Sammie took the position of managing Franklin Polo Academy in Nashville, Tennessee. She now works full-time for Elite Equine as well as helping her husband run their own business, Ace Mobile Mechanics. Her well-rounded knowledge of many different styles of riding and horse management techniques makes Sammie a wonderful asset to our team.
Sales & Product Specialist
Wesley “Whistle” Uys, also from South Africa and Sammie’s brother-in-law, moved to the United States in 1996 to play polo professionally. His family bred horses in South Africa, which sparked an interest in Whistle to learn more about horse management and breeding. A successful career playing polo professionally led him to work and partner with Robert Lipman and Graymar Farms in 2001. Together, Whistle, Robert, and Graymar manager Bob Conners have bred and raised many polo ponies who have become successful in the sport. Whistle continues to play polo professionally. His passion for young horses and experience in horse and stable management makes him a wonderful resource for our growing company.
MEET OUR HARVESTERS
Rosehip harvesting takes place according to the natural growth cycle of the wild plants. The working season is therefor determined by atmospheric temperatures, the amount of rain the plants receive and the natural pollination that takes place when there is no interference from outside. Since these plants grow high in the Maluti Mountains in Lesotho, it makes sense that villagers in the surrounding areas would be the first to be employed. Each year The Rosehip Company employs over 3500 Basotho people to harvest the wild rosehip by hand. The Rosehip Company will not be the sustainable business it is striving to be without the commitment of our harvesters. Please click on the pictures below to read some of their stories.
ABOUT THE BASOTHO PEOPLE
The Basotho people takes pride in their livestock and donkeys, goats and cattle can always be found roaming the hills and ravines. The village has no electricity and the inhabitants collect wood and animal droppings to make fires to cook on and to keep themselves warm. The traditional Basotho blankets (Seana Morena) is a distinctive form of woollen tribal blanket traditionally worn by Sotho people and unique to the Kingdom of Lesotho. Not only do these blankets provide ample protection against the cold, its tight weave also forms an excellent barrier against the rain.