We Were at a critical point in our efforts to preserve the few remaining wild horses on Abaco 10 years ago. Delays and disasters set in. Once again plans were well on the way to restoring reproduction. Sadly, we now are down to only One horse, a mare named Nunki.
Upon reviewing all options for us to achieve the restoration goal it is clear that the only safe, sure way to assist our last horse is by harvesting her eggs and fertilizing them with sperm from a genetically approved stallion, already located. This process to take place in the US. A detailed timeline of events in the process is available.
There appears to be considerable misinformation circulating about the origins, genetics and value of the Abaco Spanish Colonial Horse. Results of genetic analyses done at three institutions show that these horses are Spanish Colnials. They are rare. The analyses are readily available.
Dr. G. Cothran did our initial work at UK. He now maintains our materials at Texas A&M; University: "I have a genotyping laboratory that does typing of horses, donkeys, cattle, and cats. The Colonial Spanish horses are important because they represent a component of equine genetic diversity that no longer exists in its place of origin, Spain and Portugal. All CS population are small in the number of horses and are thus threatened with extinction. The Abaco horse clearly shows evidence of Spanish ancestry and thus represents a CS breed. Loss of any CS gene pool is a loss of the total gene pool of the horse and to CS horses in particular. Each of the CS populations has a unique set of the total gene diversity of the CS horses. Abaco horses represent a distinct part of that set so that makes them valuable. Even if only a fraction of the gene pool can be saved it maintains some part of that diversity."