Wild Herd Dispersed

Controversy arose when feral horses from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota were culled for open auction (as opposed to BLM-type adoptions) in October 2000. The problem was that mares and stallions culled from the herd for auction carry North America's oldest and purest feral horse bloodlines. This isolated herd of horses is the surviving line of true "Indian ponies," documented by blood typing, to trace directly to Spanish mustangs. This band is under National Park Service management instead of being protected by Bureau of Land Management policy. The herd has attracted international attention and has been documented by its own ethnographers, geneticists, historians, and admirers; they even have their own web site. You can appreciate this herd of horses at www.nokotahorse.org.

About the Author

Fran Jurga

Fran Jurga is the publisher of Hoofcare & Lameness, The Journal of Equine Foot Science, based in Gloucester, Mass., and Hoofcare Online, an electronic newsletter accessible at www.hoofcare.com. Her work also includes promoting lameness-related research and information for practical use by farriers, veterinarians, and horse owners. Jurga authored Understanding The Equine Foot, published by Eclipse Press and available at www.exclusivelyequine.com or by calling 800/582-5604.

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