Two Ponies Added to Ocracoke Herd On Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Two "Banker" ponies have been delivered to Cape Hatteras National Seashore to help preserve the genetic diversity in the seashore's Ocracoke pony herd. Foundation for Shackleford Horses photo.

A healthy herd of "Banker" horses at Cape Lookout National Seashore has benefited Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which recently gained two ponies for its Ocracoke herd from the herds at Cape Lookout.

Cape Hatteras Superintendent Mike Murray says the seashore adopted two Shackleford Banks ponies from the Foundation for Shackleford Horses, Inc. in Beaufort, North Carolina. The two fillies, named Sacajawea and Jitterbug, were delivered to Ocracoke Pony Pens on Sunday, December 13.

Sacajawea and Jitterbug, both approximately 2 years old, were removed from Cape Lookout National Seashore in September and received veterinary and farrier care prior to the ferry trip to their new home on Ocracoke Island. The addition of these two ponies will assist park managers in meeting one of the seashore’s primary pony management objectives of reintroducing the genetic strain common to Outer Banks horses, Cape Hatteras officials said in a release.

This particular strain of ponies is typically identified by the brown body and white face markings commonly seen in other Outer Banks horses. Maintaining the genetic diversity and herd size is important to herd survival, the seashore said.

Thousands of park visitors cherish the Ocracoke ponies and contribute to the Adopt-A-Pony fund annually.

“The NPS and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses have a mutual goal of preserving Outer Banks horses for the people of the United States. We are appreciative of the good work of Ms. Carolyn Mason and the Foundation which has enabled us to introduce two new fillies to the Ocracoke herd," said Superintendent Murray.