Monday, August 1, 2011

The Wild Ponies of Shackleford, Part One

The wild ponies of Shackleford Banks are relatively unknown outside of Eastern North Carolina. They run wild on Shackleford Banks, an uninhabited island nine miles long, just off the area around Morehead City and Beaufort, N.C.  They also run wild on Carrot Island which is just off of Beaufort, a smaller island that is not pictured on the map above. 

Historical research and genetics testing indicates that these wild horses descended from a core group of the old type of Spanish horses.  They have been on the islands for hundreds of years and are thought to have been descendants of horses that came off the Spanish ships that shipwrecked off the coast as far back as the 1400's. 

The horses are called "Banker ponies" and are about 14 hands high at maturity.  Someone gave them that name many years ago and it has stuck. 

Stay tuned for more to come about these wonderful ponies.  We got very close to a herd of three last week and have some good photos.  Trying to catch up on everything after being away! 

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