The Secret of Corolla Wins Best Short Documentary & Best Musical Score at Equus International Film Festival in Montana



The Secret of Corolla is the story about the wild Banker horses found only on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and how they have made those islands their home for more than 500 years.

The film debuted in the fall of 2021 and has been making the rounds on the independent film circuit and winning consistently winning awards. The film was selected by three festivals and has won multiple awards. Recent wins include The Foothills Film Festival in Shelby, NC – Award Of Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, The Equus Film and Arts Festival in Ocala, FL – Runner-Up Best Film Overall, and The Beaufort Film Festival in Beaufort, NC.

These wins were a precursor to entering the most prestigious festival of them all; The Equus International Film Festival in Montana. Upon submitting the film for the festival, the expectations were high, as well as the competition. We are pleased to announce that The Secret of Corolla won multiple awards; First Place for Best Music Score and the crowning achievement and top honor the film has been pursuing of First Place for Best Documentary Short.

The film is a story about perseverance. Not just by the horses but also by the people who call this extraordinary place, the Outer Banks, their home. Jerry Thompson is honored to share the unique culture of the Outer Banks with a broad and international audience.

Through devastating hurricanes, swarms of biting flies, increasingly hot temperatures, and the constant threat of developing the islands into prime vacation property, these horses and the locals continue to share the island. They have found a way to live together in a most uncommon accord and have created an incredibly remarkable and uniquely wondrous place. Jerry Thompson has brought Corolla’s horse/human delicate balance to the silver screen.

“Thank you for giving us this amazing film! You truly told the story of the horses like it was meant to be told. We are so proud of you, Jerry, and the way you’ve told their story to the world.” – Meg Puckett, Herd Manager for the Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Jerry is available for interviews. The website to view the film’s trailers can be found at, and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the film goes to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. Access to download the entire film for review will be granted upon request. Additional images are available upon request.

Jerry Thompson
615-627-7010 /

Kelly Wilkes
Assistant for Press Inquiries
804-921-6147 /

First Foal of 2019 Born To Historic Corolla Herd


Corolla, NC – The Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF) is pleased to announce that the first foal of 2019 was born on March 31, 2019. Officials have yet to determine the sex of the foal, but are pleased that both mom and baby are in good condition.

The foal has been named Renzi after a very special person. Melissa Renzi made her first visit to the Outer Banks last weekend, in celebration of her birthday. Melissa suffers from several terminal illnesses and has been in hospice care since 2017. Seeing the wild horses of Corolla was on her bucket list, and with the help of friends and the local community, that dream came true on the same weekend the new baby was born. It seemed only fitting to name the foal after Melissa, who is endlessly upbeat, strong, and kind. Traits the Banker horses share with her!

The herd of about 100 Colonial Spanish mustangs on the Currituck Outer Banks is one of only two groups of this highly threatened breed left in the wild. Commonly referred to as Banker horses, they were brought to the barrier islands by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. The horses now roam freely on approximately 7500 acres of habitat north of the paved section of NC Route 12, and are responsibly and humanely managed by the CWHF.

The Corolla Wild Horse Fund employs a darted immuno-contraception program using the FDA approved substance PZP (porcine zona pelucida). It is conducted under the auspices of the Humane Society of the United States and the Science and Conservation Center in Billings, Montana. PZP is administered annually and is the least invasive method of delivery and the most humane method to control population. Mares that are under four year of age or over 15 years of age, or mares that have had at least one foal are darted annually in an effort to reduce inbreeding, improve the long-term health of the mares, and maintain a sustainable population of horses.

The Fund usually sees around six births per year, but is looking forward to a larger crop of foals in 2019 to offset an ageing population and the deaths and removals of more than ten horses in 2018. The herd is maintained at between 110-120 individuals.

Jo Langone
Chief Operating Officer
Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Corolla Wild Horse Fund Kicks Off Wild Horse Educational Initiative Through Community Partnerships


The Corolla Wild Horse Fund is pleased to announce the kick off to the “No Feed, No Approach” educational initiative to help educate tourist and locals alike about the dangers of human interaction with the wild herd.

To kick off the initiative a 10’ x 60’ billboard message has just been erected in Coinjock stating “Admire Don’t Feed! Apples and Carrots Kill Wild Horses.” The strong message is intended to make the public aware that wild horses cannot eat any food that is not from their natural habitat of beach grasses.

The public is unaware that their snacks are harmful and often causes painful colic and may result in death.

The billboard was kindly donated, for an indefinite amount of time, from Karen and Mac Quidley, the owners of the structure on their private land in Coinjock, NC. With a few phone calls installation of the message was donated as well from Robert and Carol Givens of RO Givens Signs out of Elizabeth City, NC. The graphic design was donated by Terry Douglas a horse-loving graphic artist from Richmond, VA.

And there is more education to see and hear this season as well. MAX Radio group and East Carolina Radio, ECR, are running public service announcements expanding on the billboard message with a detailed educational message about not approaching or feeding the wild horses and the harm it can bring. Various Duck and Corolla retail merchants will donate time on their marquees this summer to promote the wild horse educational messaging. And property owners in the 4×4 area are posting yard signs on their property reinforcing the no feed/approach messaging. This is just the beginning of an ongoing “No Fee, No Approach” campaign. Yard signs available at CWHF museum/office.

We invite residents, community leaders, business organizations, restaurants and merchants to join us in spreading this ongoing educational initiative. The community support has been overwhelming and heartwarming and we believe through stepped up efforts to educate the public, locals, tourists and wild horses will all be safer.

Jo Langone
Chief Operating Officer
Corolla Wild Horse Fund