Some of the most famous Currituck Outer Banks residents might also be the oldest. The Corolla Wild Horses have roamed the shores of the Currituck OBX for almost 500 years now. In 1926, according to National Geographic Magazine, as many as 6,000 of the Colonial Spanish Mustangs called these barrier islands home, but sadly, the official herd count of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund today is only 83. The Wild Horse Fund, a local, non-profit organization, hopes to increase that number over time as part of their mandate to “Keep them Wild and Free.”
To help raise money for that mission, the Horse Fund is hosting what they hope will become an Outer Banks tradition with their First Annual Mustang Reunion Celebration October 30-November 1, 2015. The three day event will feature a wide variety of activities and Halloween festivities for the entire family, including your own horses!
The event will be held at the Betsy Dowdy Equine Center located at 102 Young Rider Lane in Grandy. Hours are 2:00-5:00 pm on October 30, and 9:00am-6:00 pm on October 31. Hours for Sunday are to be determined because they are open for Private Lessons and a Beach Ride.
Some of the activities at the event for horse owners and enthusiasts will include demonstrations by equine experts from around the country, a competition and Fun Show for Mustangs, and a trail challenge and beach ride open to all horse breeds. Topics for the demonstrations include nutrition, barefoot trimming, and training, among others.
Events for the entire family will include crafts, games, an antique tractor display, hayrides, food, music, trick-or-treating, and a costume contest. The costume contest is even open to horses as well. There will also be the opportunity to meet some of the Corolla Wild Horses that have been rescued from the Currituck Outer Banks. The highlight of the rescued horses appearing at the event is little Guillermo, affectionately known as William.
William was born prematurely on June 12. The third of five foals born this year, William gained notoriety after being removed from the beach for a multitude of medical problems less than a week after his birth. Veterinarians said he was mere hours from dying when he was rescued and driven in an SUV from the Currituck Outer Banks all the way to the North Carolina State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh. An international fundraising campaign followed raising over $25,000 in donations to help cover the costs of William’s treatment and recovery. William came home to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund Rehab Facility in Grandy with his surrogate mother Pebbles on July 14, and his condition has since improved dramatically and will be a popular attraction at the event.
There are many chances to get involved with this First Annual Mustang Reunion. Vendor and Sponsor opportunities are still available and while there is no direct cost of attendance, the suggested donation is $5. There are entry fees for the different classes in the Fun Show competition and to take a turn at the Trail Challenge Course however. Each run of the trail challenge costs $25 and the entry fee for each class of the Fun Show is $7. All proceeds will benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. For updates and more information visit the event’s official Facebook page.