Abaco Horses Become "Abaco Barbs,"
Gain International Recognition
On the sun swept stage of a small island 150 miles off Florida’s Gold Coast, 16 rare and endangered horses have made their debut to the world. Work begun in 1992 recently resulted in having the horses designated a pure strain of the critically endangered Spanish Barb breed by the Horse of the America’s Registry. The Abaco Barbs, on the Island of Abaco in the Bahamas, are fighting for their lives as inappropriate human intervention and a drastic change in habitat have taken a severe toll.. The struggling remnants of a once mighty herd of 200 are facing extinction for the second time in their recently turbulent history.

“This is one of the top events of the ten years I’ve been working to save these horses,” says Milanne Rehor, President and Field Director of Arkwild, Inc., a not for profit U.S. corporation. Horse of the Americas Registry registers only horses of irrefutable Columbian era Spanish descent. In addition, many of the horses show a rare color pattern, splash white. The lineage of the Abaco Barb goes back to the horses of the Barbary Coast of North Africa. In Spain the horses were developed into the Spanish Barb. Throughout the world the Barb is recognized as critically endangered. Abaco and the Bahamas are curators of possibly the purest strain remaining in existence.“

Arkwild, Inc. and the Friends of the Abaco Barbary Horse, a local support group of Bahamians and visitors, are working hard to see that these horses get an appropriate and suitable preserve on land which is available right next to the farm where they currently live, in their ancestral forest. It is their goal to enable visitors to Abaco to see the horses living free in the natural setting where they thrived for 500 years.with the needed spays and neuters.

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