From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 1996:

Weeks after dismantling the Bureau
of Land Management wild horse program,
House Republicans on November 7 pushed
through a bill––unanimously passed by voice
vote––ordering the National Park Service to
leave alone about 30 wild horses living in the
Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The bill
directs the Department of the Interior to arrange
for herd management with the Missouri Wild
Horse League, which would be required to
keep the herd smaller than 50. The league and
the Park Service have fought in court since 1990
over a Park Service plan to exterminate the
horses. The bill must clear the Senate to take
effect, with enough support to overcome a
potential presidential veto. Assistant Secretary
for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks George Frampton
opposes the bill, and wild horse protection generally,
consistent with the position of conservation
groups including the Wilderness Society,
which he formerly headed, the Nature Conservancy,
the National Audubon Society, and some
factions of Earth First, that introduced species
should be removed from public lands.

Diane Richards, of Big Bear Lake,
California, claims to have crossbred speedy
Grant’s zebras with domestic mares to produce
a rideable “zorse”––a claim often made by others,
but never yet demonstrated by the production
of rideable zorses in quantity. Breeders
have long tried to harness the athleticism of
zebras through crossbreeding, but until the
advent of artificial insemination were generally
frustrated. Zebras are the last equine to resist
An expedition to investigate the
properties of the Nangchen horse, a rare wild
Tibetan breed first documented in 1993 by
French ethnologist Michel Peissel, in
November reported another discovery, dubbed
the Riwoche horse, for the Riwoche region in
which it was found. The horse, believed to be
the earliest to evolve of any living breed, was
discovered in ancient growth forests amid high
plateau near the source of the Salween River.
The forests do not appear on maps. Peissel’s
team found several separate herds of the horses.
Also unexpectedly found in the forests were
macaques and white-lipped deer.
The Akhal-Teke horse, descended
directly from the first known domesticated
horses, and more recently a component of the
English thoroughbred bloodline, is reportedly
making a comeback of sorts in Turkmenistan
since the fall of the Soviet Union. Nikita
Krushchev nearly exterminated Akhal-Tekes
during his push to mechanize Soviet agriculture,
but fanciers including International Association
of Akhal-Teke Breeders chairman Geldy
Kyarizov began surreptitiously trading worn-out
workhorses to slaughterhouses for doomed
Akhal-Tekes, are now breeding them, and have
rebuilt the population to about 2,000. There are
about 100 in the U.S., including 30 owned by
Philip and Margo Case, of Staunton, Virginia,
who began importing and training them for
dressage, jumping, and endurance racing in
Noting a recent proliferation of selfproclaimed
horse rescue groups, some doing
questionable fundraising, the International
Generic Horse Association has pledged to begin
taking a look at rescue groups’ claims. IGHA is
located at POB 6778, Rancho Palos Verdes,
CA 90734-6778.
Police officials say crime in the
parking lots at O’Hare International Airport
in Chicago is markedly down since the lot concessionaire,
Standard Parking Inc., hired
Ashland Equine Security of Des Plaines,
Illinois, to provide mounted patrols, whose
high vantage point, speed, and maneuverability
enable them to quickly spot trouble. AES
patrols other big parking lots in the Chicago
area, and is adding riders as quickly as they can
be trained by the Chicago Police Academy.
Each rider provides his/her own horse––and the
horse must pass a rigorous stress test, intended
to weed out any who might bolt in crowds or
traffic at the scream of a low-flying jet. “I
throw fireworks at them, pop plastic bags, set
off car alarms, throw basketballs at them, and
toss cherry bombs under them when they’re not
looking,” says AES director of security Joe
Morici. “We try to acclimate them to every
noise they might encounter on the job site.”
Kenton Mosley, of Ovapa, West
Virginia, thought he might beat an August 19
arrest for alleged drunk driving because his
vehicle was a blind, lame pony, but after several
months of contradictory rulings from the
State Division of Motor Vehicles, the case is
reportedly proceeding.

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.