8 Nov 2010

Abaco Horses











Great Abaco Island is a sparsely settled island in the Bahamas. It is host to a most incredible wild horse story.
For centuries the island has been home to wild horses. During the American Revolution, many British loyalists moved to the Caribbean Islands. In some instances, such as on Great Abaco Island, their settlements did not flourish and a few horses were left behind. Decades later, logging operations clear-cut many of the Caribbean pines which covered the island and when these operations played out, still more horses were left behind.
For additional decades the pines returned and the horses flourished until the 1960s when an all weather road was built through the uninhabited woodlands which brought boar hunters. The horses were also popular targets and they were hunted to near extinction when Edison Key and Morton Sawyer started a cattle operation at one end of the island. They planted deep rooted grasses for the cattle and three remaining horses, a stallion and two mares, took advantage of the safe haven and formed a foundation for repopulating the wild herd.

A "grass roots" effort was started to preserve some forest acreage so that these colorful horses can maintain a viable population. This organization is now known as the Abaco Wild Horse Fund.They have a website definitely worth visiting which which contains an interesting and detailed history and many photos of these unusual horses, as well as information about how to join the efforts to protect them.




                  

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