Wild Horses Of Abaco Preservation Society
Go WHOA is part of ARKWILD, Inc Arkwild is a U.S. 501(c) (3) tax exempt corporation. The project was started by Milanne Rehor. In 1992 Rehor spent three months in the Abacos and brought to public attention the fact that the horses, nearly exterminated in the 60's, were making a slow comeback.
In 1992 there were about 35 horses living in the pine forests on Great Abaco Island, Bahamas. Overcoming a harsh enviornment and inappropriate human behavior the herd appeared to be no longer in danger of extinction.
A second trip in 1994 confirmed these findings and suggested continued research.
A third research trip was done (Dec. 1996 to July 1997). Grim statistics resulted: the herd was down to 20 horses.By the time Rehor got back in January, 1998, the herd was down to 17. Fortunately, by September of '98, four fillies had been born. One still survives.Two were lost to disease, likely from toxic overload, one died from an interaction with another horse. In March '99 the stallion Acrux had to be put down due to an infection. (See article in HOOFBEATS). A few weeks later a six year old stallion, Vega, died from unknown causes. After hurricane Floyd in 1999 the horses opted to return to the nearby citrus farm full time where they were exposed to herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. They grew obese on over rich food, developed severe hoof bproblems and stopped reproducing..
Goal: Achieved! To publicize the existence and rarity of these horses; DNA testing indicates that the horses are close replicasof the original Spanish Colonial Horse and are of Spanish origin. They have been isolated for so long that they have become a new, indigenous breed. Their genes are unique.