If you're a lover of horse history, and wouldn't mind gaining ownership of a "Shackleford" horse, call the folks at Cape Lookout National Seashore. But be quick, because they only have seven to give away.
Still running wild on a barrier island in the Atlantic, Banker horses represent an enchanting piece of history. Their herd members hold a genetic link to Old Spanish horses, and they are recognized by the Horse of the America’s Registry. They are part of the cultural history of the Outer Banks where they have lived for centuries.
Seashore Superintendent Russel Wilson says that these horses, while born wild, were removed from the wild for population control. He says these youngsters gentle well with time and patience, and are generally recognized by other owners as being exceptionally intelligent.
Shackleford horses grow to 11 to 13 hands (4 inches per hand). They are kept as companions for other horses and for people. They can be trained for driving or riding; Traveller, removed in 2001, provided lead-line transportation for an 8-year-old boy who rode him in a local July 4th parade last summer.
Horses of different ages are available through the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc. Most recently removed from the island are Soprano, a proud 19-month-old colt; Sacajawea, a pretty 22-month-old filly; Salsa, an adorable 12-month-old filly; and Adagio, a bright 10-month-old colt.
Adoptions are handled on a first-come basis. An adoption fee is charged and there are facility requirements.
For more information and/or an adoption application contact Anita Kimball at (252) 241-5222 or, after 6:00 p.m., Joy Lawrence at (252) 728-7111. To make an appointment to see the horses, contact Anita Kimball. In Florida, contact Bob Cubbage at (352) 817-3576.