With nearly one hundred submissions to the 2015 calendar contest, selecting the final thirteen images for the 2015 calendar was an arduous task. All of the submitted photographs are beautiful, and were taken and submitted by people who undoubtedly care about these wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs. Three regional artists judged this years submissions, and final selections were based on several criteria, including photographic excellence, variety of setting, and variety of horse groupings and behaviors. Click the link to see the final selections: 2015 CWHF Calendar Contest Winning Photographs and Photographers.
Today is my birthday. Let’s just say I’m old enough to be getting membership requests from AARP. It is said that with age comes wisdom but the older I get, the less I understand why it is so hard and sometimes impossible for some people to do the right thing.
The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act mandates that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund can manage the wild herd that has lived on the Outer Banks for nearly 500 years, at the SCIENTIFICALLY recommended minimum of 120 to 130, with periodic introductions of mares from Shackleford Banks to try and reverse the Corolla herd’s current spiral into genetic oblivion. The only other remaining wild herd of Banker strain Colonial Spanish Mustangs left has been managed successfully at 120 to 130 since 1998 on Cape Lookout National Seashore/Shackleford Banks. Those horses live on 3,000 acres and the Corolla Horses have access to approximately 7,544. The Currituck Wildlife Refuge comprises 3,000 of the 7,544 acres available to the horses and our most recent aerial count documented only 8 horses on USFWS property.)
At issue is the United States Fish & Wildlife Service’s continued insistence that the herd size be managed at a maximum of 60. According to one of the nation’s leading equine geneticists and expert on feral horses, 150 is the number needed to maintain genetic diversity (once you have attained it) in a wild herd. Peer reviewed science has shown that the Corolla horses are not only highly inbred with extremely low genetic diversity, they are down to one maternal line. In contrast, the Shackleford Banks herd has three maternal lines.
On February 6, 2012, the United States House of Representatives did the right thing. They passed the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act unanimously. The bill’s sponsor, Walter Jones, (R, NC) did the right thing by also ensuring that the bill had a good balance of bipartisan cosponsors as it moved to the Senate. Senator Kay Hagan (D, NC) sponsored the bill in the Senate. Governor Bev Perdue supported the bill. Our hopes were high, however, the bill languished in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee while USFWS and Ducks Unlimited worked behind the scenes to kill it, sending letters to committee members and the public containing false information. Congressman Jones, the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute, and others, all did the right thing and tried fervently to have Senator Hagan garner support for the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act. The bill that is the only hope for the very horse that the state of North Carolina designated as one of their state symbols, was allowed to die in committee.
Begin Part II. Again, Congressman Jones did the right thing again and reintroduced the bill in the House of Representatives on January 3, 2013. It has since passed through the Natural Resources Committee and is awaiting a vote on the House Floor. The Senate will have another chance to do the right thing. It is the right thing to do to protect and conserve a rare and ancient breed that is already listed as critically endangered. It is the right thing to do to protect and conserve an animal whose centuries old ancestors’ bones are mingled with the sand all along the coast of the Outer Banks. It is the right thing to do to conserve and protect an animal that has peacefully and successfully co-existed with all other wildlife for nearly 500 years. Why is it so hard for our legislators in the Senate to do the right thing?
Donate on Facebook and today’s hay is from YOU. You can help feed and house a Corolla Spanish Mustang awaiting adoption for only $5.00! If all our Facebook Friends donated $5.00 each, that would cover the cost of the best of care for up to 8 rescued Mustangs for a year!
I don’t think there is a rational person in this country that wasn’t torn apart by what happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. When this type of unspeakable horror takes place it leaves just about everyone feeling helpless, with a deep need to reach out and do something, anything, to show how much you care. But what can be done?
Greg Becker of Palm Beach, Florida, is one of those people who wanted to do something. He reached out to us to ask if we could name a wild horse after Jessica Rekos, a horse lover who died that day. “Jessica loved everything about horses,” her parents, Rich and Krista Rekos said in a statement. “She devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses, and writing stories about horses.” When she turned 10, they promised, she could have a horse of her own. For Christmas, she asked Santa for new cowgirl boots and hat.
Our staff knew just the filly and now “Jessica” runs wild and free on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We hope that her family can find some small comfort in this knowledge.
This has been a devastating year for the American wild horse. In the west, as if the cruel helicopter roundups , confinement of nearly forty seven thousand wild horses in government holding pens, and their sale to kill buyers for slaughter in Canada and Mexico is not horrific enough, other insidious ways to rid the land of wild horses and the advocates trying to save them are beginning to surface. For example: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/opinion/forum-coming-to-south-dakota-bring-your-own-drinking-water/article_4d2d4783-6635-5b18-8c0d-b07229e1dda8.html
In the east, advocates for the wild horses north of Corolla, NC have been working with federal legislators to pass the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act. The Act mandates that the herd be managed at a range of 120 – 130 with never less than 110 and that mares from Shackleford Banks can be introduced periodically to address the Corolla’s dying gene pool. Similar legislation was passed in 1998 to protect the Shackleford horses that live on half the habitat available to the Corollas.
Presently, an expired management plan calls for a maximum herd size of 60 and United States Fish & Wildlife Service has refused to allow the number to change. Two thirds of the land available to the wild horses of Corolla is privately owned and the other one third is owned by USFWS. This year’s aerial count showed 121 horses on 7,544 acres with only 8 horses on USFWS land. The current herd size is 119.
The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act, sponsored by Congressman Walter Jones (R), passed the United States House of Representatives unanimously, on February 6, 2012. It was introduced into the Senate by NC Senator Kay Hagan (D) and co-sponsored by NC Senator Richard Burr (R) in March and referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee where it has remained ever since.
Time is running out for the bill (S 3448) and for the Corolla wild horses. It will not take helicopter roundups, sales to kill buyers, or poisoned water to kill them. Without the ability to be managed at a genetically and physically healthy level, nature – in the form of genetic collapse and physical abnormalities due to inbreeding – will do the trick within a few generations. Once they are gone – they are gone forever.
You can help to save them. Please e mail Senator Barbara Boxer, Chairperson of the Environment and Public Works Committee: https://boxer.senate.gov/en/contact/policycomments.cfm and Senator James Inhofe: http://inhofe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm . Tell them that you strongly support S 3448 and you want to see it passed before the end of this year. Tell them that these horses have coexisted with all other wildlife for nearly 500 years and have had no unacceptable impact on the environment. The Shackleford horses have been managed at the same number as defined in S 3448 for 14 years, on half the land available to the Corollas, with no unacceptable impact.
Only the voting public can stop the eradication of wild horses from our country. Do it today.
During their Thanksgiving break, this group decided to give thanks by giving back! While planning their recent trip to Corolla, Jena and Anthony Mazzio, Jon, Erica, Cindy and Rocco Parise, and Gina and Valerie Philippi contacted the Corolla Wild Horse Fund for a volunteer project that would benefit the wild horses. As frequent visitors to the area, this group understands involvement in protecting the horses’ habitat is necessary for their continued survival. They showed up in force on Friday, November 23 to tackle the day’s work. Supplied with trash bags and gloves, they combed several miles of the four wheel drive beach for hours collecting an impressive pile of trash that would otherwise become a hazard to the wild horses, visitors and vehicles. Our dedicated Corolla Ocean Rescue came through with a plan to pick up all the trash that was collected that same afternoon. A huge thank you goes out to this awesome group of volunteers! Way to go!
URGENT: Read the letter filled with false claims sent by Ducks Unlimited that is negatively impacting the critical legislation to protect the Corolla wild horse herd as well as the response by our Executive Director. If you are a local hunter or come here to hunt, you know that the wild horses have no impact on the duck population – or the subaquatic vegetation. In fact, on September 13, 2012 as he and our Herd Manager conducted our aerial herd count (which is 119 not 140 as stated by Mr. Hall), the Currituck Wildlife Refuge Manager remarked that there was more subaquatic vegetation than he had seen in a long time. Please write, call, or email H. Dale Hall; Senators Hagan, Burr, Inhofe; Boxer; Warner and Webb and let them know, that as a hunter, or a member of Ducks Unlimited you are outraged by these false statements and ask these Senators to pass the Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act. Time is running out.
Ducks Unlimited: http://www.ducks.org/about-du/contact-du-online
Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer, Chair http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ContactUs.ContactForm
Senator Kay Hagan: http://www.hagan.senate.gov/contact/
Senator Richard Burr: http://burr.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Senator Mark Warner: http://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact
Senator Jim Webb: http://www.webb.senate.gov/contact.cfm
Felix was removed with his mother, Flicka, on September 12, 2012 after he ingested fishing line and possibly a hook. He was examined by our veterinarian who did an endoscopy and carefully monitored him until he was out of danger. Felix was born on May 25, 2012, he is a chestnut with a white star. […]
Two full days of incredible Music, creative Art, great Food, craft Beer and fine Wine at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room in Timbuck II Shopping Village. This benefit for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund was a huge success last year and you should consider joining us while we all have a blast raising more funds to Protect and Preserve the North Carolina State Horse.
Every year in Corolla, wild horses lose their freedom because people feed them and get too close to them, putting them in danger. You can help keep them wild and free by respecting the Currituck Wild Horse Ordinance.