Hello Charlie!

March 25,2022
Foaling season has officially begun! Welcome to the world, baby number one – a colt we are calling Charlie.
Please remember to give mares and foals plenty of space. We really cannot stress this enough. It’s imperative that they have time to bond with each other, and stress can cause all kinds of issues with both mom and foal. If you are lucky enough to see them, please be respectful and responsible. Do not stop and get out of your vehicle, do not hover on top of them (50ft applies when you’re inside a vehicle too), and definitely do not approach, touch, or feed.

Brio Update

March 14, 2022

Report by Meg Puckett, Herd Manager


It’s been exactly a week since we rescued Brio, and we are happy to report today that he continues to do well! He’s finally starting to act more like a normal 7 month old colt. In the last day or two he’s started showing signs of being more aware of his surroundings and the other horses, he’s laying down and getting good, restorative sleep, and he’s been nibbling on grass. Not quite as “out of it” as he was when we first brought him to the farm last Monday. He’s figured out that humans aren’t too bad, and he really enjoys scratches and his daily walks around the farm. He has a follow-up appointment with the vet on Wednesday, where he’ll also have his feet trimmed for the first time. Overall, we are very pleased with his progress and we’re feeling optimistic about his future.
Still no sign of Brio’s mom, but we haven’t given up on her. Her territory consists of hundreds of acres of marsh and maritime forest that is largely inaccessible to humans, so there is still a very good chance she is fine and will eventually make her way out to an area where she’ll be spotted. We are keeping our fingers crossed and our eyes peeled.
We are so grateful for the outpouring of support for Brio. Thank you for your donations, your well wishes, and your trust in us to take the best care of him. We’ll do another update later this week after he sees the vet!

Brio Removed from the Wild

March 10, 2022

Two Sundays ago (2/27) we were alerted to the fact that Brio, who was born last summer, seemed to be alone. While he was understandably calling for his mother and the other horses, he did not seem to be in any immediate physical danger. Since he was technically old enough to be weaned, we consulted with the vet and decided not to intervene right away, and wait to see if he joined back up with the group that contains his dad Rocky, grandmother, and Betsy, who was also born last year. His mom was nowhere to be found.
Our staff closely watched Brio for a week, and while he did settle down and stop calling for his mom, he never moved very far from the place where he was first spotted. Last weekend Rocky and the rest of the family were within eyesight of Brio several times, and he never showed any interest in them, nor they in him. On Monday morning, just over a week after he was first spotted, we saw that Brio was becoming weak and wobbly in his back legs, was lethargic, and had started to lose weight. It was clear that Brio was certainly not going to thrive on his own, and most likely would not survive. We caught him and took him to our rescue farm on the mainland, where our vet met us immediately. He determined that Brio has pneumonia, and we discovered just how thin he had become (it’s hard to tell under all that hair, but once we got our hands on him we could feel every single one of his ribs and his hip bones). We are hopeful that the issues with his hind legs will be resolved with proper nutrition and corrective hoof trimming.
Brio was started on antibiotics and has a follow-up appointment next week where we will xray his legs if our vet deems it appropriate. Luckily we’ve already noticed an improvement after a few days of careful feeding and we’re hoping this trend continues. Today Brio is finally more alert and aware of his surroundings, and seems to be feeling better in general. He needs to be dewormed and desperately needs a bath (his skin and coat are in really poor condition too) but one thing at a time. We don’t want to overload his already stressed little body. Brio is very small and immature for his age and does not seem to have developed proper social skills when it comes to interacting with other horses. This alone put him at great risk of being injured or killed in the wild. But now that he’s at the farm we can safely introduce him to other horses once he’s well enough and he will have good role models from here on out.
We are not sure what happened to Brio’s mom. They were last seen together just a couple weeks ago and both of them seemed to be in decent shape. It’s possible she weaned him, or left him behind because she could tell he was sick. It’s also possible that she has died. We have been keeping a close eye out for her, but the majority of the area where they lived is very remote and difficult to access. We are incredibly lucky that Brio turned up in a more populated area. Otherwise, we may not have known that he was alone and things could have ended much differently for him.
It’s very hard to lose a horse from the wild, especially a young one like Brio, but there is no doubt he would have not have survived on his own and needs more care than we could have ever provided in the field. We are very cautiously optimistic that he is going to pull through, but these situations can go sideways fast. We are very grateful for our amazing veterinary team and our experienced staff, all keeping a very close eye on him and ready to address any other issues that may arise.
If you’d like to help with Brio’s care and rehabilitation, you can donate directly through Facebook and 100% of the proceeds come to CWHF with no fees taken out. You can also make a donation through our website – https://www.corollawildhorses.com/one-time-donations/ Just write “Brio” in the notes/comments section. We know times are tight for everyone right now, and you can rest assured that every single dollar makes an incredible difference in the lives of these horses. We are so grateful for your support.
We will keep everyone updated on Brio’s progress, and appreciate your good vibes and prayers, your support, and your trust in us to do what’s best for him. He is a fighter, and we will continue to provide the best possible care for him.

Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s Herd Manager, Meg Puckett, Honored Along with Others

The Currituck Chamber of Commerce has honored 11 area businesses and individuals with awards for Business of the Year and Tourism Awards 2021.

We are so proud of Meg Puckett, Corolla Wild Horse Fund’s Herd Manager, who received the Currituck County Travel & Tourism Individual Leadership award. Way to go Meg!

Full list of winners is below, congrats to you all:

  • Small Business of the Year (10 or less employees): WAO Garage
  • Small Business of the Year (10 or more employees): Wild Horse Adventure Tours
  • Corporate Community Service Award: Care A Lot Pet Supply
  • Most Attractive Business: Peaceful Waters Counseling and Wellness
  • Non-Profit of the Year: Currituck Family YMCA
  • Currituck Citizen of the Year: Jerry Wright
  • President’s Award: Fusion Office Business Centers
  • President’s Award: Nuts and Buds
  • President’s Award: B & M Contractors
  • Currituck County Travel & Tourism Individual Leadership Award: Meg Puckett
  • Currituck County Travel & Tourism Business of the Year Award: CINIVA

Our Herd has Increased by One!

September 20, 2021

Report by CWHF

This colt was born Saturday afternoon and is doing well. His name is Bravo.

They gave us quite a scare Sunday morning when we went out to check on them. The adult horses were fine and behaving normally but there was no foal to be found. Cora Mae, the mother, was not acting stressed at all so we were quite stumped. We scoured the surrounded area (woods, canals, under houses) and couldn’t find any sign of the foal. After about three hours, Nikki from Corolla Jeep Adventures stopped and mentioned that she had seen the new foal a couple streets and canals south of where the rest of the family was. We rushed over and there was Bravo standing under a house. Gus and Taka were nearby so everyone who had seen him there understandably assumed they were his parents. Gus deserves a special shoutout for tolerating this foal in his space. Taka, who is a very experienced mother, probably had something to do with keeping him in line.

We scooped Bravo up and put him in the back of the SUV to take him back to his family. Cora Mae accepted him immediately, so it’s unlikely she rejected him and left him behind on purpose. We were told that there were some stallions fighting in the area late Sunday night, so our best guess is that Nobel (Bravo’s dad) aggressively chased his mares away from the challenging stallion and Bravo got left behind in the scuffle. He was far enough away from Cora Mae that she wouldn’t have been able to smell or hear him, which was probably why she was behaving as if the foal was dead – as far as she knew, he was.

Either way, all’s well that ends well. Bravo immediately nursed and is doing just fine now. Cora Mae is a great mom and very experienced (she is the dam of Valor and Riptide). We are keeping a close eye on them, as we do with all new foals, but have no reason to believe Bravo has any lasting issues or injuries. He is big, alert (he was not happy about being picked up and carried on Sunday – always a good sign!), and has fully assimilated back into the rest of the harem.

We are so very grateful to Nikki for letting us know she’d seen him – even though she didn’t realize he was separated from his mom! This is such a good example of how tour drivers help us monitor and track the horses. And we’d like to say a very special thank-you to Ronda, Heidi, and Barbara for helping us get Bravo back to his mom and also keeping an eye on them throughout the day and night. There were several other people who helped search for him, and while we didn’t get all your names please know that we are SO thankful for your help.

Bravo is the 9th foal born to the herd this year, bringing our herd count to 105. Our management plan calls for no less than 110, and no more than 130 horses so we still have some growing to do! Maybe one more late season foal will get us into the double digits for 2021 – time will tell! In the meantime, we will continue to celebrate Bravo’s very exciting birth.

Sunset Sounds Concert Event Canceled

The final Sunset Sounds free concert event scheduled for September 16th has been canceled.

Meet Brio, Baby Number Eight

July 20, 2021 Post from Herd Manager, Meg Puckett

Welcome foal #8! 😍 This little colt was born sometime Sunday night, probably during the thunderstorms that rolled through.
Our herd manager got a call early Monday morning that some visitors had found what looked like afterbirth in their driveway. We inspected it and shared photos with the vet, who said it looked healthy and normal so we kept an eye out all day and late yesterday evening he made his first appearance!
Welcome to the herd, Brio. His name means vitality and spirit. He is brother to Betsy, who was born in April, and it’s clear that their dad puts a very unique stamp on his offspring! Gotta love those white socks! The entire family is doing well, and we ask if you are lucky enough to see them please give them plenty of space.

It’s a Boy!

July 20, 2021

Report by CWHF

This little colt, the eighth foal of the season, was born sometime Sunday night, probably during the thunderstorms that rolled through.
Our herd manager got a call early Monday morning that some visitors had found what looked like afterbirth in their driveway. We inspected it and shared photos with the vet, who said it looked healthy and normal so we kept an eye out all day and late yesterday evening he made his first appearance!
Welcome to the herd, Brio. His name means vitality and spirit. He is brother to Betsy, who was born in April, and it’s clear that their dad puts a very unique stamp on his offspring! Gotta love those white socks! The entire family is doing well, and we ask if you are lucky enough to see them please give them plenty of space.

Welcome Beatrice, Seventh Foal of the Season

July 14, 2021

Report by CWHF

This filly was born on Saturday, July 10. Her name is Beatrice.
Beatrice has had an exciting first few days of life. After she was born, she didn’t nurse right away and was having a difficult time bonding with mom. But we kept a very close eye on them and thankfully by the end of the afternoon they had figured things out and everyone was doing just fine.
Then yesterday morning, our herd manager received a call around 6am that there was a foal struggling in the canal. Thank goodness there were three fishermen right there who were able to get Beatrice out of the water. Owen, Jeff, and George – you saved this filly’s life. And thank you to Carova Beach Volunteer Fire & Rescue and our staff and volunteers who responded immediately too.
Beatrice means “bringer of joy” and after the last couple weeks, with the loss of Lizzie, and Junior’s removal from the wild herd, we all certainly need a little joy in our lives.

Junior’s Rescue and Recovery

A detailed report on Amadeo Jr. from Meg Puckett,  Herd Manager, Corolla Wild Horse Fund

July 5, 2021

Last week we almost lost another horse to choking. Because of the quick action of the people who witnessed his distress, we were able to save him and he didn’t die like Danny did last year. But it was a very close call, and now he is out of the wild forever.
We got a call Wednesday morning that Amadeo Jr, or Junior as we call him, was running around frantically, rolling, and in a lot of discomfort. We thought that he might be colicking, but upon arrival it was clear he was choking. He was behaving exactly like Danny did last year when he choked. There were several moments during the rescue where we thought he wasn’t going to make it, but we were ultimately able to get him onto the trailer and to the rescue farm, where the vet met us immediately. He confirmed the choke, and was able to get the obstruction passed. It took about 24 hours after rescue for our vet to give him the all-clear, but we are confident now that he is going to make a full recovery. In addition to the choke, he also lacerated his eyes pretty badly when he was rolling in the sand. We are medicating them twice a day and they are starting to look better but without treatment he probably would have had permanent damage to his eyes.
We can’t say for sure if Junior was choking on something he was fed, or on something he got out of the garbage, but either way the message is the same. Please, please, please be responsible and thoughtful if you are staying in the horses’ habitat. There are signs everywhere saying not to feed or approach the horses, so there is absolutely no excuse for ignorance. Anyone who feeds a horse is doing it knowing they could potentially kill that horse. We’ve also had a lot of issues this summer with overflowing garbage cans. If you are renting a house and the garbage is overflowing, please call your rental company to come pick it up. If there aren’t enough cans, let them know. Tie your bags up and make sure the lids are securely fastened.
Every time something like this happens we get together with other stakeholders (the county, property management companies, law enforcement, etc.) and discuss what we can do to prevent it from happening again. Unfortunately, we are getting to the point where there isn’t much more we can do to micromanage people’s actions. If people do not take some responsibility to learn the rules and follow them, this will keep happening. We have some meetings set up to talk about garbage management, and we are going to ramp up our efforts to get information into every single rental home (this information has been available for several years: https://www.corollawildhorses.com/community-wild-horse…/). But what we really need is for every person who visits the 4×4 to follow the rules. It’s as simple as that.
We are so grateful to the person who first called in about Junior; a couple hours later and he would not have survived. We are also indebted to Dr Sarah, a vet who just happened to be vacationing in a house right next to where Junior was. She kept an eye on him while we were making our way up, provided us with updates, and helped us catch him and get him loaded onto the trailer. And as always, we must thank our Currituck County sheriff’s department for their support and assistance. Junior had a lot of people working very hard to save his life on Wednesday.
We put Junior on the trailer right at the foot of Penny’s Hill, where he’s lived all his life. In fact, one of our favorite pictures of his dad, Amadeo, was taken at the top of Penny’s Hill. His ancestors have called that area home for hundreds of years and Junior’s loss from the wild herd is truly devastating. Of course we are happy to have him on the farm, happy that we saved him, and happy knowing he will be safe and comfortable for the rest of his life. But he should be wild.
Please don’t take the horses’ existence here for granted. Follow the rules so they will continue to thrive on the northern beaches for many more generations. It’s absolutely possible to live in harmony with them; to watch them and love them and appreciate everything about them without getting close, and certainly without feeding. Just like every individual horse is critically important to the genetic health of the herd, every single person who sets foots on the beach is critically important to their survival too. All it takes is one apple from one person. Please do not be that one person who causes a tragedy to happen.

An update from July 10, 2021, from Herd Manager, Meg Puckett

May be an image of horse and outdoors

Junior had a pretty good week! Definitely improved from last week. He got a clean bill of health yesterday at his recheck. Got his teeth done (they look pretty great for an old, wild stallion), got his vaccinations, and also got some friends! He’s learned to lead (with a little positive reinforcement), loves scratches and attention from us, and has figured out all the perks to being domesticated like fresh water, a shelter with a fan, and hay. We are still heartbroken he is no longer on the beach, but at the same time so grateful that he is alive and well. We have no doubt he will continue to thrive on the rescue farm.