Wild horses face roundup

South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

Time is run­ning out for people keen to save the life of a wild Kaimanawa horse des­tined for the slaugh­ter­house.

180 Kaimanawa horses are to be re­moved in the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion muster and the Kaimanawa Her­itage Horses Wel­fare So­ci­ety is seek­ing suit­able homes as an al­ter­na­tive to the horses go­ing to slaugh­ter.

The of­fi­cial count from the aerial cen­sus con­ducted by Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion in March in­di­cates there are 469 Kaimanawa horses within the man­age­ment zone and an­other 38 horses out­side of the area. It is es­ti­mated that 393 of the horses within the zone are adults and 76 are ju­ve­niles.

DOC is re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the wild horse pop­u­la­tion at 300, mak­ing the mus­ter­ing and re­moval of ex­cess horses nec­es­sary.

The Kaimanawa Her­itage Horses Wel­fare So­ci­ety works closely with DOC to re­home as many of the wild horses as pos­si­ble but those that don’t find homes go di­rect to slaugh­ter.

Kaimanawa horses have shot to fame in eques­trian cir­cles since the last muster in 2012.

They’ve earned their celebrity sta­tus by prov­ing both train­able and tal­ented.

Some re­homed in 2012 are al­ready out com­pet­ing and win­ning in open com­pe­ti­tion.

These horses have in­spired a num­ber of dis­cern­ing horse own­ers to con­sider tak­ing the plunge and adopt­ing a wild horse but many more homes are needed for the 180 stal­lions, mares and foals that will other­wise be trucked straight to the abat­toir from the muster in late May.

Kaimanawa Her­itage Horses com­mits to tak­ing on all of the un­placed foals and year­lings, but horses as young as two years and ev­ery­thing older, are all fac­ing the abat­toir un­less more homes are found.

Kaimanawa Her­itage Horses have ap­pli­ca­tions for about 60 of the 180 horses but need to more than dou­ble that num­ber, in less than two weeks.

Ap­pli­ca­tions for adopt­ing a Kaimanawa horse from the 2014 muster close to­day.

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